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Public hearing on Utilities Inc. increase Tuesday

The Public Utilities Commission of Nevada will hold a consumer session in Pahrump to hear public comments about a Utilities, Inc. of Central Nevada proposed rate increase on Tuesday.

The consumer session will take place Tuesday at 6 p.m., at the Nye County Administrative Complex, 2100 E. Walt Williams Drive.

In a notice of application for authorization filed with the PUCN on July 8, UICN proposed an increase of approximately 12.34 percent or $390,085 to its water service revenue requirement for a total revenue of $3,551,420.

The company proposes to increase all residential, commercial and irrigation water usage charges by approximately 13.1 percent, according to a PUCN press release. Also proposed is a 13.1 percent increase to the monthly fixed water charges for all meter sizes and service classes, the release said. The monthly fixed water charge for residential 1-inch meters would increase from $22.28 to $25.21.

A proposed hike was widely criticized by some Pahrump residents and local officials, however the majority of the projects included in the UICN rate case have been deemed prudent in the Integrated Resource Plan process with the PUCN.

Recently, Pahrump resident and Utilities, Inc. customer Robert Howard was granted intervenor's rights by the PUCN after he had filed a petition for leave to intervene into Utilities Inc.'s request for a rate increase.

The hike is supposed to cover some of the community projects, UICN officials said.

Some of the most expensive ones include the Calvada North pipeline that was priced at $408,523; Willow Creek land stabilization at $597,783; and the Willow Creek property purchase at $383,526. Willow Creek Golf Course has been renamed Discovery Park.

If the application is approved, residential and commercial monthly sewer rates would increase an estimated 5.9 percent. Residential sewer rates would increase from $46.26 to $48.98. The changes would result in an estimated overall sewer service revenue requirement increase of 5.7 percent, according to the press release.

Based on the evidence, the commission may adopt rates higher or lower than the rates proposed by UICN, the release said.

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