Iowa-American Water customers in the Quad Cities and Clinton, your water bill is about to get a little bigger.
The company filed an application Tuesday with the Iowa Utilities Board, asking it to approve a rate increase.
If the IUB approves Iowa-American Water's rate increase request in full, the average residential customer in the Iowa Quad Cities and Clinton will see their water bills go up by about $6.13 per month - to $37.72 monthly.
That's an increase of about 20 cents per day. It translates to a 19.4% rate hike.
"There's really no good time to have a rate increase, but we just felt like this was the point that we needed to raise the flag," said Iowa-American Water President Randy Moore.
Moore says the increased revenue is meant to help recoup the $26 million dollars in investments the company has made improving water treatment and delivery systems since the last rate increase request back in 2011.
"The Iowa Utility Board absolutely makes sure, first of all, that what we're requesting is legitimately what we've expensed, and they serve as the voice for the people," Moore explained.
People we spoke to about the proposed rate hike were, not surprisingly, not very happy with the idea.
"$6.13 is a couple gallons of gas," Deborah Orendorff, an Iowa-American Water customer who lives in Bettendorf, pointed out.
"Because it's such a hard time for people right now with this recession and everything, it's going to be difficult for everybody," Davenport resident Harold Patrick said.
"That'll hurt," added Laura Dructor, of Davenport.
Randy Moore says his company is 'sensitive' to the hardship bigger bills may cause for some customers. He said asking for a rate increase is not something they take lightly.
"But, where the delicate point is that we have to continue to run the business at the level we can provide those same customers good, safe, clean, reliable water," he said.
It is now in the hands of the Iowa Utilities Board to decide how much, if any, rates will go up.
In the meantime, though, customers will pay an interim rate increase, effective May 10th.
That will be about $2.65 more per month for residential rates, subject to refund depending on the IUB's final ruling.
Before the IUB makes its final decision, it wants to hear from customers about what they think of the proposed rate hikes.
Two public hearings have been scheduled:
Monday, June 3, 2013
Scott Community College Student Life Center
500 Belmont Road
Beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 4, 2013
Clinton Moose Lodge
1936 Lincoln Way
Beginning at 5:30 p.m.