FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- November 27, 2023
Contact: Kevin Kelly (573) 751-9300
PSC Approves Tariffs in Confluence Rivers Water and Sewer Rate Cases
The Missouri Public Service Commission has approved tariffs filed by Confluence Rivers Utility Operating Company, Inc. (Confluence Rivers) which authorizes Confluence Rivers to increase annual water operating revenues by approximately $638,945 and annual sewer operating revenues by approximately $860,390. The new water and sewer rates
are expected to take effect for service rendered on and after December 1, 2023.
When Confluence Rivers filed water and sewer rate cases with the Missouri Public Service Commission on December 21, 2022, it sought to increase annual water operating revenues by approximately $1.3 million and annual sewer operating revenues by approximately $1.9 million.
During the rate case proceedings, parties in the rate cases were able to reach agreements on several issues which were approved by the Public Service Commission. These agreements will result in the following:
- Water and Sewer Rate Consolidation. There will be two rate districts for water and two rate districts for sewer. The districts will be based upon technology and infrastructure. As an example, the first consolidated water district will consist of water systems that largely rely on limited infrastructure such as hydropneumatic tanks or pumps to pressurize the distribution system, and limited storage. The second consolidated district will consist of water systems with more significant infrastructure, such as those with ground storage tanks, standpipes, elevated storage tanks, or significant treatment beyond chlorination. The first sewer district will consist of limited treatment technology, including but not limited to, lagoons and land application systems. The second sewer district will consist of those systems with more advanced (and costly) treatment technologies, such as extended aeration, oxidation ditches, tertiary filtration, membrane bioreactors, biological or chemical nutrient removal, etc. According to the agreement, these districts are based upon the relative cost of service associated with plant in service, electricity usage, chemical usage, operator labor and more.
- Customer Communications. Confluence Rivers will continue to pursue improvement in its efforts to communicate with customers.
- Use of Employees Rather Than Contractors. Confluence Rivers is to provide to the PSC Staff and the Office of the Public Counsel, within nine months of the effective date of a decision from the Commission in the rate cases, a cost-benefit analysis comparing the use of third-party operators versus operators directly employed by Confluence Rivers.
- Capital Improvement Plan. Confluence Rivers is to develop a five-year Capital Improvement Plan providing budgetary (forecasted) costs for planned capital improvements on a yearly basis for years 1 through 5 for systems owned by Confluence Rivers as of September 30 of the previous year.
- Late Fees. There will be no late fee for water customers. Late fees of $5 or 3% (whichever is greater) will be applied to sewer-only customers. A late fee will not apply to sewer customers who are also water customers.
- Customer Feedback. Confluence Rivers, the Public Service Commission Staff and the Office of the Public Counsel will meet on a quarterly basis to review customer call center metrics and other service quality performance.
- Fire Protection. Confluence Rivers will consider the availability of any federal or state grants that may be available for purposes of providing fire protection at its water systems and provide the Public Service Commission Staff and the Office of the Public Counsel updates on this issue.
- Budget Billing. For metered water service, Confluence Rivers will implement a budget billing program. Since sewer is not metered and billed based upon a flat monthly charge, no budget billing program will exist for sewer.
Confluence Rivers provides water service to approximately 5,200 customers and sewer service to approximately 5,100 customers in portions of 27 Missouri counties (Audrain, Benton, Boone, Camden, Cape Girardeau, Clay, Clinton, Cole, Crawford, Franklin, Greene, Jefferson, Johnson, Lincoln, Warren, Madison, Montgomery, Perry, Pettis, Phelps, Platte, Polk, Taney, Ray, St. Francois, St. Louis and Washington).