JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Returning from a break over the Fourth of July holiday, the Missouri Public Service Commission signed off on three tariffs and new orders on Wednesday afternoon.
The first order presented before the commission was that of a contested case and an order suspending a tariff and delegating authority. The case in question is that of Missouri-American Water Company, who submitted tariff sheets in late June to implement a general rate increase for their water and sewer services.
The issue here is that their tariff sheet carries an effective date of July 31, which staff says is insufficient time to determine whether the tariffs are “just and reasonable”, so the PSC ordered the tariff to be suspended. The PSC may suspend a tariff for 120 days beyond the effective date, and if that is not enough time to conclude a full hearing, they can extend it six more months, which the commission says, from their experience, will be necessary, and ordered it be suspended until May 28, 2018. They also order that the regulatory judge who will be assigned to the case will have full authority to rule on any dispute, including motions to compel.
The PSC also approved by a 5-0 vote a tariff agreement with Stockton Hills Water Company. The company, which serves about 140 customers in Cedar County, had requested a $45,236 increase in its annual water system operating revenues to cover additional expenses in their operations and the drilling of a new well.
Stockton and the Office of Public Counsel worked together with the PSC staff to put together an amended disposition agreement, which provides for an annual increase of $10,117 for the company’s system, which when added to the previous level of revenue, adds up to an annual revenue of $38,999. The new rate for customers goes from $19.55 a month to $27.55, while the quarterly rate rises from $58.64 to $80.11. That tariff goes into effect on July 24.
The PSC also agreed to grant motions to intervene by the Environmental Defense Fund and the National Housing Trust in the matter of Laclede Gas’ request to increase its revenue. Laclede had ordered that both had filed their intervening motions after the ordered deadline, but the PSC said that the short intervention time had been put in place to avoid delaying a procedural schedule, not to limit the number of intervenors. They said the two entities had very specific national interests rather than that of the general public, and thus, their request should be granted.