State authorizes Columbus’ proposed water rate increase

Columbus City Hall exterior is shown in this Republic file photo. Mike Wolanin | The Republic

INDIANAPOLIS — The state is authorizing Columbus City Utilities to enact an overall water rate increase of almost 75% over the next three years.

At a conference on Monday, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission voted yes on a final order that approved the utilities’ proposed settlement regarding water rates in its entirety.

The CCU filed the stipulation and settlement agreement in mid-January. It is an agreement between the utility, the Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) and the Southwestern Bartholomew Water Corp. (which is an intervenor in the case and one of the city’s wholesale customers).

According to the final order, the commission found that the settlement is “reasonable, supported by substantial evidence, and in the public interest.”

“Based on the settlement and the supporting evidence presented in these proceedings, we find that [the City of Columbus] should be authorized to increase its rates and charges to produce additional revenue of $3,311,396, or an overall increase of 74.80%,” the order stated.