The Colonial Water Company of Dover is seeking a 28 percent increase in their prices in 2012, after its predecessor the Dover Water Company received a 68 percent rise in their prices in 2008.
On Monday, June 27 there was a public meeting at the Dover Town House presided over by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities. According to Dover resident R. Alan Fryer, over 80 residents came to the meeting to voice their opinion on the price hike.
In an interview with Dover-Sherborn Patch, Fryer said he believes, “it was pretty outrageous.” He said it’s part of public record that the Dover Water Company, received a 68 percent rate increase in 2008. If Colonial receives their increase, Dover customers will see close to a 100 percent rate increase in the past four years starting Feb. 1 of 2012.
Fryer said Colonial showed no indication that the cost of running the business has increased.
In their application to the DPU, Donald Vaughn CEO of Colonial’s parent company New England Service Company did cite several updates to the system and new technology as one of the reasons for the increase.
Vaughn also said, that in the Dover Water Company’s records that they had been losing money in recent years. Vaughn stated that revenue was less than anticipated after the rate increase.
Fryer’s question was, “Why didn’t they look at Dover Water’s books?”
“The rates already being charged are astronomical as compared to what other towns pay,” said Fryer.
According to the consulting engineer and environmental specialist firm Tighe and Bond, the water rate survey average cost per home for Dover in 2010 was $1120 a year. The average per home cost for the state of Massachusetts in 2010 was $470, according to Tighe and Bond.
In a statement to Dover-Sherborn Patch, Vaughn said “before any rate adjustment takes place, the DPU will thoroughly examine our financial records and assess the need for an increase.”
He added, “Relative to the revenue point, the company fell far short of realizing its DPU allowed revenues in the last rate decision.” Vaughn said, “that, coupled with certain increased operating expenses and plant investment, have been the main drivers.”