The Water Utility has recently received approval from the Public Service Commission (PSC) for a rate increase to meet our immediate financial needs and to maintain financial stability for our water utility. The PSC sets water rates for municipal water utilities in the State of Wisconsin. The new rates are mandated by the PSC.
The Utility has not submitted a complete rate case application since 2012. That year, the PSC implemented a rate increase of 64 percent. In 2013, 2015, and 2016, the Utility did go through the PSC’s simple rate case process which allowed for a 3 percent increase each time. Over this time, annual operating costs have increased, and the Utility has begun to address outdated infrastructure. The rate increase to our customers is not related to funding infrastructure to new development or the Village’s annual operating budget. Water utility payments directly impact the Somers Water Utility.
In June of 2020, the Utility submitted their application for a complete rate case. The PSC held a public hearing on the proposed rates on December 16, 2021. After almost 2 years, the Utility received the final decision on March 29 as to the rates that will be required by the PSC. It was determined that the overall rate increase must generate an additional $415,322 in revenue to maintain financial stability. This represents a 35.68% increase in the overall existing rates. A breakdown of the rates is available here.
The Board realizes that this PSC implemented rate is a large increase at one time. The reason is due to the fact that there has not been a significant review of these rates by the PSC in over ten years. To avoid such a large one-time increases to the Utility customers, the Board is committed to more frequent full rate case applications to the PSC in the future which will lessen the impact.
A letter was mailed to residents, a copy is available here.
For more information, call the Somers Water Utility at 262-859-2822.