By Shereen Siewert

The water bill for an average residential customer will increase from $229 per year to just over $300 in 2021, according to a public notice to all customers of the Wausau Water Utility.

That amount includes the public fire protection charge and is calculated based on the average residential customer with a 5/8-inch or 3/4-inch meter using 1,300 cubic feet of water per quarter.  Bills for the same customer without the public fire protection charge will increase from about $187 per year to about $250 per year.

Water rates will increase in two steps between now and Jan. 1, 2021. The rate hike is due so a 23.75 percent increase in gross plant investment and a 36.48 percent increase in operating expenses since the last water rate case was completed in 2015.

A virtual public hearing on the water utility’s application for the increase is set for 10 a.m. on April 28. The public can attend by telephone at 855-947-8255. The passcode for the meeting is 833379#. Callers should connect no sooner than 9:45 a.m., but calls placed after 10 a.m. may not be received.

The Public Service Commission will broadcast the audio of the hearing live on the Commission’s website at http://psc.wi.gov under the “Live Broadcast” button. The Commission encourages people with adequate internet service wishing only to observe the hearing should do so online.

Scheduling questions regarding this hearing may be directed to the PSCW at 608-266-3766.