by: Chrystal Blair, Ozarks First
Liberty Utilities customers are sounding off on social media about a proposed rate hike of 6%, about $7.85 more a month.
This is being proposed due to an investment of 338 million dollars into the system. Part of that money is going to a Liberty Utilities Program that, according to Liberty Utilities worker Sheri Richard, will help reduce outages and the length of outages.
“It’s going to provide safe reliable service and it has improved the reliability for the service that the customers are getting,” Richard said.
Angela Tompkins, with Tompkins Wellness Center, has been a satisfied customer of this utilities company.
“I feel like they’ve been very reliable,” Tompkins said. “I’ve never had an outage here and so, for me, that doesn’t mean anything.”
Many customers, including Tompkins, say their bills have already doubled.
“I want to know exactly where that money is going,” Tompkins said.
Richard says the money is most likely going towards different improvements.
“Substation upgrades, poles, new line extensions, or new lines that we have to put in,” Richard said. “It could also have been some of our generation upgrades that we have to make at our power plants.”
A public hearing was hosted earlier this week and another one is scheduled for sometime in April with hopes of having it settled by June.