A Fairbanks utility and the state have come to resolution in a long running rate dispute that will result in customer refunds. The settlement between the Regulatory Commission of Alaska and Fairbanks Sewer and Water will see about 8,500 past and present customers of Golden Heart and College Utilities repaid nearly $4.5 million as a result of rates the commission has determined were too high. The Utilities Director of Administration Tiffany Van Horn says the settlement covers 2004 through 2006.
Van Horn says there’s no estimate on how much the average customer will get. She says some of the revenue from the effected years was set aside in an escrow account while the R.C.A. considered the rates. She says the refunds will come out of that account. The utility has maintained it needs higher rates due to increased operating costs, infrastructure replacement and lower water usage by customers. Meanwhile, the R.C.A. is considering a 2010 rate hike. A decision on those rates is scheduled for September.
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