RFMU applies for water-rate increaseThe Wisconsin Public Service Commission says it will review an application by the River Falls Municipal Utilities to raise water rates by 13%.
By: Phil Pfuehler, River Falls Journal
The Wisconsin Public Service Commission says it will review an application by the River Falls Municipal Utilities to raise water rates by 13%.
A rate hike of that magnitude would boost RFMU’s annual revenues by $171,437.
The PSC will analyze the local utility’s submitted data and issue its own proposal, probably sometime in early 2012.
After that, public feedback on the proposed rate hike can be sent to the PSC.
A public hearing will also be held in Madison, very likely with a link to a room at River Falls City Hall. No date for such a hearing has been set.
RFMU General Manager Carl Gaulke attributed the rate hike application to an increase in expenditures due to inflation and other factors.
“With the new North Zone Booster Station and Well House No. 6 being constructed this year, the operating cost for the water utility will increase,” he said. “We are requesting a 13% increase in rates to provide cash flow sufficient to pay routine operation and maintenance expenses, and to meet our debt service requirements for the Water Utility Revenue Bond to fund the Booster Station and Well House No. 6.”
Gaulke said the water-rate hike would be the first in River Falls since March 1997.
RFMU paid an accounting utility consultant, Madison-based Baker Tilly, $13,500 to do a water-rate study before applying for the rate increase.
Gaulke said if the 13% hike is approved, the average residential customer would pay about $16 extra a year in water bills.
RFMU has almost 4,800 water-service customers.
Gaulke said he hopes a PSC-approved water-rate hike can go into effect by February or March.