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Some Lawrence County residents to see hike in water bills

Ohio-American Water Company customers in Lawrence County will see an increase in their water bill due to the company’s revenue-increasing measures approved by the Ohio Public Utilities Commission.

Saturday, February 16, 2002

Ohio-American Water Company customers in Lawrence County will see an increase in their water bill due to the company’s revenue-increasing measures approved by the Ohio Public Utilities Commission.

PUCO approved a stipulation last Wednesday that will allow the company to generate $1,079,045 more in revenue.

Ohio-American is an Ohio corporation and a public utility supplying water service to consumers within Ohio. The company is a subsidiary of American Water Works Company, and serves four districts, Ashtabula, Lawrence, Marion and Tiffin.

In addition to the revenue requirement agreement, the stipulation contains a number of performance-related commitments by Ohio-American. Should the company fail to achieve these commitments, PUCO states in a prepared statement, a one-time fine not to exceed $10,000 will be levied against the company.

Ohio-American filed a rate increase intent notice on March 16 of last year with the Ohio agency. The official application for increased rates was filed on May 3. PUCO staff conducted their investigation and filed a report on Oct. 16.

Local hearings were conducted in every county the rate increase will effect except Lawrence County. Meetings were held in Ashtabula, Marion, Tiffin, and in Waverly.

Deb Rapert, the community relations manager for the company, said the rate increase is in response to an increase in operating costs, especially since the company recently had a 40 percent increase in the costs of providing employees with benefits.

The water company’s industrial water consumers will take the largest hit in billing. Based upon a 394 ccf usage, an industrial water consumer will pay on average $43.68 more per month.

The rates for residential users who consume 12 ccf per month will increase an average of $2.62 twice a month.

In Lawrence County, Ohio-American Water serves the Chesapeake and Burlington areas, as well as some of the townships that surround those areas.

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