VIDEO: Public Hearings Begin on GWA’s Proposed 57% Rate Increase Over Next 5 Years

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Guam – The Public Utilities Commission is holding a couple of public hearings this evening on GWA’s proposed five year rate increase. The first public hearing began at 5:30 at the Asan community center and the second public hearing will take place at 7:00pm at the Dededo community center.

CCU Chairman Simon Sanchez says GWA needs to follow a court order that requires the agency to upgrade major portions of it’s water and waste water system. In order to fund the upgrades GWA needs to borrow money on the bond market, money that will be repaid by raising rates by 67 percent over a five year period.

The CCU originally wanted to raise rates by about 67 percent but after consulting with the PUC they agreed to request a 57 percent increase. The average residential customer who uses less than five thousand gallons a month is currently paying an average bill of $56.75 but if the rates are approved they will be paying $67.94 by 2018.

The average residential customer who uses more than 5 thousand gallons is currently paying an average of $75.48 but if the rates are approved they will be paying about $98.69 almost a hundred dollars by 2018. “Really it’s the only way we can have the rates to be able to go to the bond market and borrow the money to build all of the projects and that’s the challenge that’s why it’s such a large rate increase,” said Sanchez.

The PUC will decide on the proposed rate increase next Tuesday and the legislature will also be going into session next week to vote on Senator Tom Ada’s bill that gives GWA the authority to borrow $495 million dollars on the bond market.