Home » Polk County » U.S. Senator Nelson Bashes Aqua Utilities’ Rate Request

LAKELAND | U.S. Senator Bill Nelson has jumped into the debate over Aqua Utilities’ proposed rate increase that is pending before the Florida Public Service Commission.

Nelson complained about the rate increase in a March 21 letter to PSC Chairman Art Graham.

Aqua, whose 117,000 Florida water and sewer customers include residents in six Polk County subdivisions, stretching from the outskirts of Lakeland to east of Lake Wales, has been at the center of controversy in recent years over a series of rate increase requests.

Residents have complained the rates are unjustified and unaffordable and have criticized Aqua’s documented poor customer service record.

“I urge you to carefully consider the harmful affect any further rate hikes right now would likely have on Florida consumers and deny, delay or minimize the request,” Nelson’s letter said.

Frustrated Aqua customers have called on elected officials at all levels of government to try to intervene in Aqua’s rate increase requests, which have been occurring regularly since 2009.

The decision rests with the PSC.

Nelson’s request is similar to a resolution approved last November by the Polk County Commission asking PSC members to delay or reduce the rate increase.

PSC officials held a public meeting last year in Lakeland to hear from customers about the rate increase.

PSC members will formally consider Aqua’s request at a hearing May 24 in Tallahassee.

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