AARON HUMES Reporting: The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has approved, initially, a 6.4% increase in water rates that would go into effect on April 1.
That means that if you were paying a $100 bill anywhere across Belize with the exception of Caye Caulker, you would be paying about $106. But Belize Water Services (BWS) was asking for a whopping 16% increase to fund their expenses in expanding water and sewer services countrywide.
At a press briefing today, Rudolph Williams, the PUC’s director of water, said the Commission noted discrepancies in the audited figures and submissions of BWS, and that the company has consistently failed to keep up with its business plan for investments.
The mean water rate for 1,000 gallons is $17.28, but those under that figure pay $8.51 per gallon.
According to Williams, BWS is expected to take control of assets in that area for the planned water and sewer expansion and there are plans for Northern Ambergris Caye as well, but most of the rest will have to wait for a new business plan to be produced later this year.
The PUC says BWS must sell more water to recoup its expenses. Objections to the PUC’s initial decision are now being taken until February 17.
If there are no serious objections, the decision becomes final then; if there are then an indenpendent expert will take over and make recommendations. The company enters a new tariff period in 2015.
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