Utilities board rules on water rate case for eastern Iowa

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The Iowa Utilities Board has ruled the Iowa American Water Company can only raise its rates around half of what it requested. IUB spokesman, Rob Hillesland, says Iowa American Water Company serves Clinton plus Bettendorf and Davenport. “The utility on April 30th of last year requested a $6.44-million increase in its annual revenues – which would be 18-percent,” Hillesland says.

After hearing comments from the public and the company, the board ruled Tuesday the company should be allowed a 9.9-percent increase. “That does include the temporary revenue increase which has been in effect since May of last year, which Iowa American was able to implement under Iowa law without seeking pre-approval from the board,” Hillesland says. That temporary increase was 7.5-percent, so the customers will see an additional 2.4-percent increase after the board’s ruling.

Hillesland says the IUB did deny a customer bill surcharge the company sought to pay for infrastructure. “The board rejected that automatic adjustment mechanism,” Hillesland says, “they didn’t see that it was necessary to recover those costs form customers prior to coming in in a future rate case proceeding.”

The Iowa-American Water Company is unique among the companies that supply water to Iowa residents. “It is the only water utility at this point in time that brings water rate proposals to the board,” Hillesland explains. Hillesland says the Iowa Utility Board’s decision will become final sometime on or before February 28th.

Hillesland explained to KROS NEWS that the impacts on the customer classes will be determined when the written ruling is complete.

Company officials are quoted in area news media that the ruling will mean prioritizing the planned improvements.