The Texas Commission of Environmental Quality (TCEQ) held a public hearing regarding possible water utility bill increases.
Monarch proposed to raise water utility prices by 62.3% and wastewater rates by 33.6%. The changes would apply to Pflugerville residents who receive their water from Windermere Water Company. The company was recently purchased by Monarch. The Pflugerville City Council met in August and suspended the rate hikes for ninety days.
The City of Pflugerville will hold two public hearings on the rate increase Tuesday October 18th, and November 1st. Both will be held from 7 – 9 p.m. For now, affected residents can fill out an intervention form and send it to the city.
In a release posted to the city's website, City Manager Brandon Wade said, "The approach Monarch has used to fund its improvements is rather shocking and reprehensible." Senator Kirk Watson, D-Austin, is also opposed to the proposed rate increases. In a public letter he sent to State Administrative Law Judge William Newchurch, who is presiding over the hearings, Senator Watson referred to the price increase as "exorbitant."
If the Pflugerville City Council rejects the rate increases, Monarch will be able to appeal to TCEQ. The earliest date the new rates could go into effect is April 2012.