Diamond Bar Water customers to get public hearing
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission will conduct a public hearing in Rathdrum regarding a proposed 87.4 percent rate increase for the customers of Diamond Bar Water Estates in Kootenai County.
The hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. the Rathdrum Senior Center, 8037 W. Montana St (corner of State Highway 41 and Montana Street) in Rathdrum.
Diamond Bar Estates serves about 43 households.
Under the company’s proposal, the base monthly charge for the first 7,500 gallons of water would increase from $21 per month to $50 per month. Diamond Bar is proposing a commodity charge of 52 cents for every 1,000 gallons used beyond 7,500 gallons per month. The current commodity charge is 45 cents for every 1,000 gallons beyond 7,500 gallons per month.
Commission staff is recommending an increase to $29 per month for the first 4,000 gallons of use and 73 cents for every 1,000 gallons beyond 4,000 gallons per month.
Some Diamond Bar customers filed comments in opposition to the increase to $50 per month for use up to 7,500 gallons, alleging they are being charged for water they don’t use. Commission staff determined that the average use during the winter months was 5,579 gallons per month and that the median use is 4,678 gallons. Commission staff said its proposal of a smaller monthly base charge but a larger commodity charge for use beyond 4,000 gallons per month will encourage conservation while allowing the company sufficient cash flow to remain viable.
At the hearing, Diamond Bar customers will have an opportunity to present testimony before the commissioners who will decide the case. The testimony is recorded and becomes part of the public record the commission uses in making a decision. The commission is free to accept, deny or modify the company’s proposal as well as staff recommendations.
Documents related to the case are available on the commission’s Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on the water icon, then on “Open Water Cases,” and scroll down to Case No. DIA-W-07-01.