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      WATER RATE INCREASE PUT OFF

UNTIL SEPT. 15 BY PSC



            Water Services, Inc., the company that provides water to two Kentucky towns, Middlesboro and Clinton, won’t get a 50.8% rate increase right away. The company’s public notice, published in the Hickman County Gazette, had confidently predicted the rate increase to become effective April 15, 2009. On Friday, April 3rd, the Kentucky Public Service Commission, the state agency charged with regulating utilities and their rates, entered an Order suspending the proposed increase “up to and including September 14, 2009.”

            What Water Services, Inc. will get by April 15th is a deadline to respond to “Appendix B” of the PSC’s Order.  Appendix A is a schedule of deadlines and events in the water company’s rate increase case.

            Appendix B asks for monthly usage data for each customer ending June 30, 2008, a current organization chart showing the relationship of Water Service and any affiliated companies and copies, workpapers, calculations and information on employee compensation. The PSC also questions the tap on rates of $1434 and cost justifications for that rate.

            Citizens in Clinton continue to voice their displeasure with the rate increase. Two Clinton residents, Rebecca Beasley and Gaylon Cantrell, obtained almost 250 signatures on a petition that went to the PSC. To date, twenty other Clinton residents have personally written to the PSC asking the rate be disapproved. Water Services Inc. claims 900 customers in Clinton. That would mean almost a third of their customers in Clinton have weighed in opposing the increase.

            Residents in this far western Kentucky town will have to wait to see if the Public Service Commission grants their request for a public hearing in Clinton. Citing fixed incomes and the distance, residents are asking the PSC to hold a public hearing on the proposed increase in their town.  The PSC has yet to answer whether they will come to Clinton or not.

            Appendix A, the case schedule, lists the public hearing to be held at “10:00 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, on…. To be announced.”

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