ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WOWO): The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is encouraging public comments in the Huntertown water/sewer case, currently pending before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC). Consumers may speak at the IURC public field hearing on Monday, November 3, 2014, or send written comments to the OUCC.
The November 3 IURC public field hearing will be held at Cedar Canyon Elementary School (15011 Coldwater Road, Fort Wayne). The OUCC will conduct an informational session on the regulatory process at 5:30 p.m. with the IURC accepting public comments beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Sworn oral and written comments regarding the case will be accepted during the field hearing. Oral and written consumer comments carry equal weight and will become part of the case’s official evidentiary record. Commissioners are not allowed to answer questions during the field hearing. (However, OUCC and IURC staff will be available before, during and after the hearing.)
The case before the IURC focuses on two issues: 1) Whether Huntertown’s local ordinances extending utility service outside its corporate boundaries should be approved, and 2) Whether the City of Fort Wayne’s wholesale rates and charges to Huntertown are just and reasonable.
In 2013, the Huntertown Town Council approved ordinances stating that the town has exclusive authority to provide water and wastewater utility services to unincorporated areas within four miles of its town limits that are within Allen County and to the west of Coldwater Road. In this case, Huntertown is asking the IURC to find that its ordinances are enforceable under state law.
Huntertown is also asking the IURC to review the City of Fort Wayne’s wholesale sewer treatment rates.
Fort Wayne started treating Huntertown’s sewage in 1988 under an agreement between the two municipalities. Although the agreement was terminated in April 2013, Fort Wayne continues to treat Huntertown’s sewage. In this case, the IURC is being asked to determine whether Huntertown should continue to pay a lower contract rate to Fort Wayne, or a higher rate as a retail customer.
Huntertown and Fort Wayne filed testimony and exhibits with the IURC on October 16, 2014, and have until November 18, 2014 to submit responses to each others’ filings.
The Allen County Regional Water and Sewer District and Twin Eagles Development, LLC have formally intervened in this case and are scheduled to file their respective cases-in-chief on November 18, 2014.
The OUCC – the state agency representing consumer interests in cases before the IURC – has not yet taken a position in the case and is scheduled to file testimony with the Commission on December 4, 2014.
IURC evidentiary hearings in this case are scheduled for January 13 and 15, 2015 in Indianapolis. While evidentiary hearings are open to the public, participation is typically limited to attorney and Commission questioning of technical witnesses who have filed written testimony on behalf of the case’s formal parties.
More information on this case is available online at www.in.gov/oucc/2803.htm.
Consumers who wish to submit written comments in this case may do so via the OUCC’s website atwww.in.gov/oucc/2361.htm, or by mail, email or fax:
Mail: Consumer Services Staff
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor
115 W. Washington St., Suite 1500 South
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Fax: (317) 232-5923
Written comments the OUCC receives before the close of business on November 26, 2014 will be filed with the Commission and included in the case’s formal evidentiary record. Comments should include the consumer’s name, mailing address, and a reference to “IURC Cause No. 44519.”
Consumers with questions about submitting written comments can contact the OUCC’s consumer services staff toll-free at 1-888-441-2494.