A new state law requires utility companies to notify customers and county and city commissions when increasing their rates.
Joint Sewer Agency Director John Hodges says KRS 65A also means the districts permitted to tax residents will have to publicly notify those residents and the commissions the utility serves.
“But, I think the intent, when the auditor went through there, what he wanted to do, was to do is make sure the public was aware of all the entities that could tax you,” he said.
Hodges says the changes will be implemented during the current calendar year by districts. Hodges has informed the Fiscal Court and City Commission that the JSA will increase rates by eight cents per one thousand gallon. He says the new law does not affect his agency because he operated under an openness policy.
Fire departments, water districts, libraries, schools, airports, riverports, public health departments, public housing, mass transit and economic development groups fall under the new law’s reporting requirements.
By contrast, Paducah Power Systems is exempt from the public notification provision for most of their rates. The exemption is due to power cost adjustments, which the fluctuating monthly fees used to recoup loses as a result of PPS purchasing power on the open market.
“It’s our understanding that “fees” as they are defined in the act would encompass the base rates at which we sell power but not the Power Cost Adjustment,” Paducah Power Systems Andrea Underwood wrote in an email response. “Because PCA’s, environmental charges etc… that were implemented by entities like us as a part of our base rate structure are excluded from the definition of ‘fees’.”