Tetreau, McKinney urge stand against water rate hike

Hearing Tuesday at 6:30 on Aquarion plan for double-digit increase

Aquarion_Square_logo_3_A public hearing on a proposed water rate increase will be held Tuesday, June 18, at 6:30 p.m. in the first floor conference room at Independence Hall, 725 Post Road.

In a letter sent to customers, Aquarion wrote that the increase would total 26 cents a day. Citing as an example a customer using 6,000 gallons, the bill would climb $7.98, from $43.54 to $51.52, an increase of 18.3%, effective in September 2013. That would be followed by increases of 1.8% and 1.9% in the two subsequent years.

First Selectman Michael Tetreau and State Senate Minority Leader John McKinney Monday expressed opposition to the increase, and urged residents to speak against Aquarion’s plan.

“I strongly urge residents to attend Tuesday’s hearing. The town will be submitting our objections to these excessive increases,” Tetreau said in a release.

“Since these increases could also affect 46 other municipalities in the State, I have reached out to my fellow mayors and first selectmen in those towns to encourage them to let PURA know of any objections they may have,” Tetreau added. “I am hoping that a collaborated effort will help to mitigate the final rate increases.”

“These increases are excessive and come at a time when municipalities and residential customers can least afford them,” McKinney said in a press release. “To propose such a steep and sudden increase in the first year of this plan, tells me there really wasn’t much planning going on at all. We need to find a more equitable solution for ratepayers and Aquarion should be front and center offering alternative solutions.”

Specific information regarding the increase can be obtained by calling Aquarion at 203-445-7310 or 1-800-732-9678.

Approval for the increase must be granted by the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

Aquarion serves 625,000 residents in 47 Connecticut communities.

According to a letter sent to customers, Aquarion has invested more than $143 million in improvements to the system.

The group Fairfield Taxpayer has set up a link that will send an email  automatically to the executive secretary of PURA and a  group of elected officials and others: http://www.fairfieldtaxpayer.com/email-regarding-aquarians-proposed-23-water-rate-hike.html.

One click will send an email to:

PURA Chairman Arthur House

PURA Vice Chairman John Betkoski

PURA Director Michael Caron

Case coordinator Barbara Marcelynas

PURA Executive Secretary Kimberley Santopietro

DEEP Commissioner Daniel Esty (PURA reports to DEEP)

The state Office of Consumer Council (the State consumer advocacy group regarding regulated utilities)

Head of OCC Elin Swanson Katz

OCC Staff Richard E. Sobolewski

The state General Assembly Energy and Technology Committee (overseer of PURA)

Co-Chairman Sen. Bob Duff D-25 (D-5)

Co-Chairman Rep. Lonnie Reed (D-102)

Vice Chaiman Sen. Gary Lebeau (D-3)

Vice Chaiman Rep. Jonathan Steinberg (D-136)

Ranking Member Sen. Clark Chapin (R-30)

Ranking Member Rep. Laura Hoydick (R-120)

Rep. Terry Backer (D-121)

Rep. Brian Becker (D-19)

Rep. Timothy Bowles (D-42)

Rep. Dan Carter (R-2)

Rep. Jay Case (R-63)

Rep. Paul Davis (D-117)

Rep. Kim Fawcett (D-133)

Rep. Henry Genga (D-10)

Rep. Matthew Lesser (D-100)

Rep. Robert Megna (D-97)

Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140)

Rep. Lawrence Miller (R-122)

Rep. Chris Perone (D-137)

Rep. John Piscopo (R-76)

Rep. Elizabeth Ritter (D-38)

Rep. William Tong (D-147)

Rep. Sean Williams (R-68)

Rep. Dave Yaccarino (R-87)

Fairfield’s State Senators and Representatives:

Sen. John McKinney (R-28)

Rep. Kim Fawcett (D-133)

Rep. Tony Hwang (R-134)

Rep. Brenda Kupchick (R-132)

House Majority Leader Rep. Joe Aresimowicz  (D-30)

House Minority Leader Rep. Larence Cafero (R-142)

Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-88)

Fairfield First Selectman Michael Tetreau

Customers may also comment directly to the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority by sending an email to [email protected], or by sending it by mail to PURA, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06501. The docket number is 13-02-20.

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