Water rate hike foes refile petition

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JAY – A completed petition containing 43 signatures of North Jay Water District customers or account holders has been resubmitted to the state’s Public Utilities Commission asking it to investigate a proposed water rate increase.

The commission suspended the nearly 11 percent rate hike on March 13 for nine months or until further notice so petitioners’ questions could be looked into.

However, water district trustees claimed that only 27 of the 65 signatures on the initial petition submitted in March were valid so the petition didn’t meet the required 39 signatures of the customer base needed to suspend the rate until the PUC investigated.

Petitioners had seven days to get the petition completed with missing printed names, signatures or addresses.

The district’s proposed rate hike of 10.75 percent was expected to go into effect March 31.

Petitioners asked the PUC to suspend the rate until it determines:

• if the district is taking the steps necessary to operate efficiently and to trim its operation and maintenance cost;

• if the proposed increase in revenues is passed onto known and measurable changes in the water district’s expenses and revenues; and

• if the water district is operating as efficiently as possible and using sound management practices.

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