The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission will seek public input on a rate increase request by Merrillville-based Northern Indiana Public Service Co. The commission has set a public hearing for Wednesday evening at Merrillville High School.

NIPSCO made the request in September, saying the increase would allow the utility to improve service. If approved, NIPSCO says the increase would generate more than $140 million annually. It would occur in two phases, with the first increase taking place in mid-2018, followed by another in early 2019. The utility says the bump would allow it to provide faster responses to emergency calls and upgrade or replace old underground pipes.

The public hearing is set for Wednesday, January 3 at 7:00 pm EST (6:00 p.m. CST) at the Freshman Lecture Hall in Merrillville High School.

Those who cannot attend can submit comments by clicking here.