Avion Water eyes 12.8 percent rate increase

State Public Utilities Commission to review filing

Avion Water eyes rate hike

BEND, Ore. - (Update: Correcting number of Avion customers, roughly 13,000)

Avion Water Co., based in Bend, wants a 12.8 percent increase in revenue that would bring in around $1 million. To do so, the company submitted a request to state regulators for a rate hike of that amount to its roughly 13,000 customers.

Typically, the Oregon Public Utilities Commission asks water utilities to submit a rate filing every three years. Avion met that requirement in 2011 and 2014.

On top of that, in 2013, the PUC approved $8 million in loans to Avion Water, with the stipulation that the company submit a new filing by April of this year.

The state does not require Avion to raise its rates -- just to review their current ones and decide what adjustments need to be made.

"It didn't necessarily mean that it would require an increase," PUC Public Information Officer Kandi Young said Monday. "It meant they had to evaluate that, submit the rate case filing for PUC staff review."

The rate hike would pay for increases in operating costs since the last increase and for the addition of one full-time and one part-time employee, according to the filing.

Avion customers said the company notified them about a year ago about their plans to seek a rate increase.

The next step is for PUC to analyze Avion's submission.

"They'll determine their analysis to determine if the request is fair and reasonable on behalf of Avion's customers," Young said.

There will be a public hearing on the filing later this month in Bend. PUC is encouraging people to attend.

"It's a public process, and we want to hear from the public on it," Young said.

The timetable for the state's rate review process will be discussed at the public hearing, which is scheduled for Thursday, June 29 at 6 p.m. at the Central Oregon Environmental Center.

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