HWC proposes water rate hike

3 years ago

HOULTON, Maine — Customers of Houlton Water Company may soon be paying more for their water and sewer bills.

Customers were notified in a Jan. 25 letter that Houlton Water Company intends to increase its rates for water service. The proposed rate adjustments will increase HWC’s operating revenues by 10.9 percent.

HWC last adjusted its rates in 2017, three years ago, according to General Manager Greg Sherman.

“The proposed increase is necessitated by the decline in sales and increased costs over the past several years,” Sherman said. “The proposed rate will increase the average residential bill by $2.01 per month or $6.03 per quarter.”

The proposed rate adjustments are anticipated to increase revenues received for Water Service by $99,813 over that collected during 2019, Sherman said in a letter to the Maine Public Utilities Commission. The rate adjustment is applied on an across-the-board basis with the exception of Public Fire Protection, which is held at 30 percent of gross revenues.

If the Maine PUC approves the rate increase, it would go into effect starting March 19. 

Increases for all customer classes are as follows: Residential $36,564 (10.9 percent); Commercial/Municipal/Industrial, $26,802 (10.9 percent); Public Fire Protection, $27,955 (9.8 percent); Private Hydrant/Sprinklers, $8,491 (10.9 percent).

A public hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9,  at the Houlton Water Company office at 21 Bangor St. Pursuant to the Governor’s executive order on gatherings, the hearing is limited to 50 people and face coverings are required. 

Sherman said if more than 50 people want to attend, or if customers wish to participate through remote attendance, HWC will make available to customers information that allows them to participate by electronic/remote means. Customers may contact the HWC office at 207-532-2259 for information.