OUCC, Aqua Indiana Reach Settlement

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The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor and the city of Fort Wayne have reached a settlement with Aqua Indiana Inc. regarding a proposed sewer rate increase in Allen, Huntington and Whitley Counties. Under the agreement, rates for the utility's Aboite Wastewater Division will increase by nearly 24 percent.

The utility had originally proposed to raise rates by almost 30 percent when it filed its request in March. In June, the OUCC recommended a rate increase of just 15.6 percent. Indiana Utility Consumer Counselor David Stippler says the agreement will ensure Aqua will be able to complete its capital projects.

Under the agreement, rates would be increased in two phases. Residential rates would be set at the end of the second phase, with metered customers seeing an increase of approximately $10 per month and unmetered customers seeing a $4 monthly increase.

"Aqua appreciates the review and analysis conducted by the OUCC, and we believe the result of this settlement is good for our existing customers and for the continued growth of our customer base in southwest Allen County," said Tom Bruns, state president of Aqua. "Through the phase-in of the adjusted rate increase, we are confident that customers will continue to have dependable wastewater service at a reasonable cost."

The agreement has been filed with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission, which is expected to make a ruling by the end of the year.

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