Patriot Water increase
To the Editor:
The customers of the Patriot Water Company are in for a surprise when they receive their water bill in the upcoming months.
The water company had decided upon a 45% increase to customers accounts after approval by the Patriot Town Council. This increase will amount to an average water bill of $65.45 for most customers. (More, if the customer uses over 4,000 gallons in a month). This would appear to me to be an extreme increase. The bill for most customers would raise almost 100% not 45%.
The water company said the increase is necessary to cover two wells and pumps plus upgrades according to the engineer present at the May 4th meeting. When asked, about estimated costs, the engineer said there had not been a study or design of the project at this time.
A figure of $9.6 million was stated as the necessary amount to do the projects and upgrades.
There are approximately 4,500 Patriot water customers that will be affected by this increase. At the suggested increase, a figure of approximately $292,500 would be the monthly income and a year of customer payments of $3,510,000. The stand necessary money would be raised in 2 1/2 years.
The Indiana Regulatory commission states that its rates are $7.36 per 1,000 gallons and $29.44 for unit cost of 4,000 gallons, If you compare these rates to the proposed rates of Patriot Water, it is over 55% raise of current rates of other Indiana water companies.
The proposed increase will have a negative effect on the customers of the water company as many are retired and on fixed income or Social Security benefits. Switzerland County is a low income area and this extreme increase in my opinion will be an unacceptable hardship not he patrons of the company.
Why not a 15% increase over the next three years so people can plan and adjust finances?
Where is the detailed information that the customers have a right to see what they are paying for?
What happened to cooperation and information to customers? It was like everything was a big secret and customers were not supposed to know anything about the raised rates.
In summary, I suggest the Patriot City Council not accept the proposed water rates by the Patriot Water Company. Instead, perhaps the water company would reconsider their extreme rate increase for a more acceptable proposal.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Patriot Town Council will hold a vote on these proposed rate increases in a meeting being held tonight (Thursday, May 13th) at 6 ;30 p.m. This meeting is open to the public.