, Corbin, KY

November 8, 2013

Public a no-show at utility hearing

CUC to vote on proposed utility rate increase Tuesday, Corbin, KY

CORBIN — By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer

The Corbin Utilities Commission will meet Tuesday to approve a proposed electric, water and sewer rate increase.

That was announced after no one showed up Thursday evening at a public hearing at Corbin City Hall.

It was to have started at 6 p.m.

After waiting 37 minutes, CUC General Manager Ron Herd called off the meeting.

He said as a result, no special meeting would be held. In addition, the CUC board would approve the rate increase, and put the rate adjustments into effect at Tuesday’s regular session at 4 p.m.

Thursday’s public meeting was called, so the CUC could hear comments and suggestions about the increases from customers and residents.

If approved Tuesday, the rate changes would take place in December or January.

In their regular meeting on Oct. 15, utilities commission board members voted unanimously to accept a proposed flat rate adjustment in water and sewer rates. They also authorized CUC General Manager Ron Herd to hold a public hearing on the rate changes.

At that time, he said the last water and sewer increase by CUC was six years ago.

Herd added the city’s electric rates were being adjusted for Kentucky Utilities (KU), which the city utilities buys their wholesale electricity from. He said KU passed along a five-percent increase to CUC customers, which began in August.

The proposed changes came after the financial analyses for their rates were reviewed.

The CUC pointed out the rate changes were needed to move KU’s annual rate increases from the Power Cost Adjustment Factor to the base rates.

In addition, the planned rate changes would provide more revenue for needed CUC projects.

Among those projects include their Wastewater Treatment Plant flow upgrade project, rehabilitation of their sanitary sewer collection system, a standby emergency generator at the Water Treatment Plant, and replacing the Water Treatment Plant’s gas chlorination system with a bleach (sodium hypochlorite) disinfection system.

For electricity, the CUC plans to adjust their Residential (RS-1) rate from the current customer charge of $4 to the proposed $10. It would increase the energy charge (all kilowatt hours) to a proposed $0.0729.

For Small General Service (SGS-1), the rate would increase to a customer charge of  $20, with an energy charge of $0.0769 for the first 400 kilowatt hours. As for New Large General Service (New LGS), the rate increases to a customer charge of $50, with an energy charge of $0.0480 for all kilowatt hours, and an $8 demand charge for over 25 kilowatts.

The total annual revenue expected from the electric rate increase would bring the CUC an additional $269,355.

For water rates, the CUC plans to adjust their Inside City (IWS-1) rate for a service charge for 5/8”-3/4” lines from the current rate of $2.50 to the proposed $4.50. For Outside City Rural Retail (RWS-1) customers and Outside City Retail (OWS-1) customers with 5/8”-3/4” lines, the service charge would go up to $9.

Based on current customers and consumption, the CUC said the water rate increases would bring them an additional $242,928 in total annual revenue.

As for sewer rates, the CUC is looking at adjusting their Inside City Residential and Commercial (ISS-1) rate for a service charge from the current $2.69 to the planned $6. For Outside City Residential and Commercial (OSS01) users, the service charge goes up to $12. Inside City Industrial (ISS-2) customers would see an increase in the service charge, with the rate up to $139. Outside City Industrial (OSS-2) users would see the service charge rate go to $278.81.

The proposed increases in the sewer rates is expected to give the CUC an estimated $230,502 in revenue, based on current consumption and customers.

CUC board members noted in October that even with the adjustments, the proposed rate increases would be lower than the rates for neighboring utility districts.