SPRINGFIELD – Champaign-Urbana consumers will pay about 15 percent more for water on their next monthly bills.
The Illinois Commerce Commission voted this week to grant new rates to the Illinois-American Water Company throughout the state.
The average local customer uses 6,000 gallons a month and will see an increase in monthly bills, including municipal fire protection charges, from $22.28 to $25.54.
David Baker, the manager of the division that includes Champaign and Urbana, said Illinois-American's ongoing infrastructure replacement, and higher costs for security since Sept. 11, 2001, necessitated the increases.
The Champaign district's rate increase of about 15 percent puts it in the middle of the pack, ICC spokeswoman Beth Bosch said.
Illinois-American invested in $7.4 million in updating pipes, lines, hydrants and other equipment in Champaign County in 2001 and 2002, Baker said
Also, water facilities have been under heightened security since Sept. 11 and will remain so indefinitely, Baker said. As a matter of policy, the company will not go into specifics about security measures.
Bosch said the Champaign division sought $3.4 million in increased revenues, and the commission reduced its request by about $700,000.
The large southern Metro division had its request reduced by more than $5 million, she said.
At the low end of the approved increases was Pekin, with a 2.9 percent increase, while Sterling had a 51 percent increase, Bosch said.
Illinois-American has 293,000 metered customers, or 1 million people in 125 communities, including East St. Louis and Peoria, according to the company.
You can reach Paul Wood at (217) 351-5203 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.