The Bristol Press – Petit says Aquarion’s requested rate increase may have only minor effect on Plainville
PLAINVILLE – Representative Bill Petit says the rate increase requested by Aquarion may have only a minor effect on Plainville.
Petit previously shared on his Facebook page on July 5 that Aquarion, the company that supplies the city’s water, had filed a Notice of Intent with the Utilities Regulatory Agency (PURA), planning to increase their rates over the next three years.
Petit then said he contacted Aquarion and spoke to a representative who told him “I don’t think Plainville will see much of an increase.”
“They told me last Friday that Plainville would see ‘minimal’ rate increases because none of the $740 million in water utility infrastructure improvements mentioned in their notice of intent were to money spent on the Plainville system,” Petit said. “Fingers crossed.”
Petit also said in the comments to his Facebook post about the rate increase that rates can “vary from one water system to another.”
“It will work in our favor when PURA evaluates the data provided by Aquarion,” he said. “The $740 million invested by Aquarion was not spent in Plainville for Valley Water’s legacy system/customers and rates have already been adjusted for the construction/installation of water softening equipment. ‘water. So we can see a much smaller increase, if any, compared to other water areas. Nonetheless, it will be important for clients to testify when hearings are scheduled. We will publish the schedule as soon as it is available.
Valley Water, which previously supplied the city’s water, conducted a 2019 study of the city’s water, which concluded that while it was potable and met federal standards, it was “very hard.” due to calcium and magnesium in the water. This can lead to scale formation in the pipes and accelerate the wear of dishwashers and washing machines.
In the same discussion, City Manager Robert Lee provided an update on the city’s water softening plans.
“The softening plant is currently under construction,” Lee said. “The latest ETA is early next year. It was an update from Aquarian about a week ago.
In 2021, Aquarion acquired Valley Water. Water rates had not increased in nine and a half years and Valley Water had already asked for increases.
If approved by PURA, Aquarion’s prices would increase on February 15, 2023 by 13.9%, followed by a 6.9% increase on February 15, 2024 and a 4.2% increase on February 15, 2025. However, the advisory also states that Aquarion take into account the financial hardships faced by residents.
In the advisory, Aquarion Chairman Donald Morrissey says there will be “offers and other initiatives” designed to “spread system costs more evenly” to “mitigate the impacts of a increasing rates on mid-tier users, while encouraging higher-volume residential customers to keep.”
City Council President Kathy Pugliese said the city had previously applied for “intervenor status” to oppose rate increases. The timing of a rate hike, she says, “couldn’t be worse,” due to inflation and the rising cost of living.
Once PURA sets court dates, they will be shared on the city’s website.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or [email protected]