Letter: Water rate increase too big
To the editor:
Suburban Water sent notice of another huge increase and an upcoming Kansas Corporation Commission hearing so that the public will have some opportunity to provide minimal input on the issue. This comes as no surprise. Suburban attempted to get an under-the-table increase disguised as a water cost passed through last year. That increase, without public hearings nor the full ratemaking process, was rejected by the KCC.
Now, they have filed for what they allege is a 28 percent increase. It is not. For those who just use the minimum 1,000 gallons, its rate goes from $20 to $30.33 per month, which is nearly a 52 percent increase. This fact is hidden by its sly use of a footnote.
The company also is trying to get the ability to increase rates at any time with the water-cost pass-through previously rejected. One can check the BPU document “Combined Rate Application Manual” on page 34 and see that Suburban is paying $1.53 per 100 cubic feet or $2.045 per 1,000 gallons for which it is asking for the ability to charge us $9.33. This is a 456 percent markup. Is there another business on Earth that gets away with this?
Every Suburban customer should come to the hearing on Feb. 21 and there be no official approval of this further legal burglary of Suburban customers. We should also demand that the KCC conduct a forensic audit of this utility to include all the family companies with which they do no bid business.
James P. Washington