MCKEESPORT, August 2, 2011 – State Sen. Jim Brewster is opposing the Pennsylvania American Water Company (PAWC) request to raise local water rates by 13 percent. He is urging local citizens to speak out on the issue at a local hearing in Dravosburg next week.

The Public Input Hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, August 10 at 6 p.m. in the Dravosburg Borough Building, 226 Maple Avenue, Dravosburg, PA 15034.

In a June 2 letter, Brewster urged the Public Utility Commission (PUC) to reject the rate request. He argued that many residents from Dravosburg and Liberty are on low or fixed incomes and cannot afford a water rate hike at this time. PAWC has requested hiking its annual rates for the two communities from $581.40 to $658.44 (13.3 percent).

Under law, the PAWC must obtain Public Utility Commission (PUC) approval to increase water rates. At his request, Brewster said the PUC has agreed to schedule this hearing to gather public input on the rate hike request. A final decision on the rate hike request must be made by January 28, 2012.

“This is your opportunity to speak out and let your voice be heard,” Brewster said. “I think it is important that the public provide the PUC with a very strong and clear message on this proposed rate hike and how it would impact families.”

Brewster urged residents to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early, sign up if they wish to testify, and bring an extra copy of any written statement to submit for the record. If you have questions about the hearings or how to testify, contact the Office of Consumer Advocate toll-free at 1-800-684-6560 or by e-mail at consumer@paoca.org.

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