Maine Water Company (Maine Water) filed a water rate increase request on June 25th with the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for its Bucksport Division. Maine Water’s request of $38,207 in additional revenues would add about five cents per day to the water bill of a residential customer who uses 1,200 cubic feet per quarter, or about 100 gallons per day. The last time rates were increased in the Bucksport Division was 2006.
The PUC has up to nine months to review the request and make a final decision, although a decision could be made sooner. All customers will be mailed a notice of this proceeding, which outlines their rights to participate in the process.
“We have carefully managed our expenses in the past seven years, including refinancing bonds at a lower interest rate, but we continue to see declining water consumption, with a 6% decrease in water sales since 2006” stated Maine Water President Judy Wallingford. “In addition, we just completed the construction of a replacement storage tank on McDonald Street for a net cost of about $500,000, replacing a storage tank that was constructed in 1927 and had reached the end of its life. These two factors have led to this modest request in water rates at this time.”
If the PUC were to approve Maine Water’s entire rate request, the average quarterly bill for a customer using 1,200 cubic feet of water would be $77.23, or about $26 per month. Residential customers will continue to pay less than a penny per gallon of water delivered directly to their tap.
The Bucksport water system serves 650 customers in the Town of Bucksport and is one of 20 Maine water or wastewater systems owned or operated by Maine Water.