HALLOWELL (AP) — The Hallowell Water District’s proposed 20 percent rate increase may be delayed by Maine utility regulators after a citizen-initiated challenge.

The district proposed the hike last month, with district superintendent Dennis Kinney blaming it on the rising cost of keeping up with natural gas expansion in the city.

The change would mean that customers using up to 1,200 cubic feet of water every three months would see bills rise to a minimum of $66, up from $55 starting July 1.

But that could be pushed back, as a group of residents led by Larry Morrisette, say they have gathered enough signatures from customers to force a review from the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

Morrisette told the Kennebec Journal (http://bit.ly/1nYw1X0 ) he just wants to make sure the rate hike is justified.

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