PUC staff to comment by Jan. 27 on Spirit Lake East water case
Staff from the Idaho Public Utilities Commission will file its analysis on or before Jan. 27 of an application by Spirit Lake East Water Company to double its rates for the 280 households served by the private water company.
Commission staff conducted a workshop at Timberlake High School on Nov. 8, which was attended by about 35 customers, some of whom requested a public hearing.
After staff files its comments, the company and its customers have until Feb. 9 to respond. To date, the commission plans to process the case by written comment. “Written comments have proven to be an effective means for obtaining public input and participation, although the commission has not yet determined whether to convene a hearing to obtain testimony from the public,” the commission’s order states. Persons desiring a public hearing must specifically request a hearing in their written comments.
Spirit Lake East wants to increase its monthly rate from $12 to $24 for the first 9,000 gallons of water use. The company proposes a rate of 20 cents for every 100 gallons of use more than 9,000 gallons. The current rate for use of more than 9,000 gallons is 10 cents per 100 gallons. Spirit Lake East is also requesting to increase its connection fee for new service from $1,200 to $2,500.
The company’s rates for consumption have not changed since initially approved by the commission in 1983. Since then costs have increased and many improvements have been made to the system, the company claims. While consumption rates have not changed, the company’s connection fee was increased from $650 to $1,200 in June 2004. The company states the proposed connection fee of $2,500 is the actual cost it incurs to connect a new customer to the water system.
Those wishing to submit comments must do so by no later than Feb. 9. Those wishing to comment may want to wait until after Jan. 27 when staff and company submit their comments. Comments already submitted by customers, including those requesting a public hearing, have been included in the record and will be considered when the commission makes its future decisions regarding a public hearing and the case in general.
Comments are accepted via e-mail by accessing the commission’s homepage at www.puc.idaho.gov and clicking on "Comments & Questions." Fill in the case number (SPL-W-06-01) and enter your comments. Comments can also be mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID 83720-0074 or faxed to (208) 334-3762.
A full text of the commission’s order, along with other documents related to this case, are available on the commission’s Web site. Click on “File Room” and then on “Water Cases” and scroll down to Case No. SPL-W-06-01.