130th Ohio General Assembly
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Am. S. B. No. 44  As Passed by the Senate
As Passed by the Senate

125th General Assembly
Regular Session
2003-2004
Am. S. B. No. 44


Senators Robert Gardner, Blessing, Spada, Dann, Mumper, Prentiss 



A BILL
To amend section 4909.171 and to enact section 4909.172 of the Revised Code to authorize, subject to Public Utilities Commission approval, cost-based rate adjustments for water supplied to a waterworks utility by another waterworks utility, rate adjustment authority for a sewage disposal utility similar to the authority of a waterworks utility, and customer surcharges on waterworks or sewage disposal utility rates to cover specified costs associated with and a return on certain plant investment.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF OHIO:
Section 1. That section 4909.171 be amended and section 4909.172 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:
Sec. 4909.171. (A) Any waterworks company whose water supply is provided by a municipal corporation or other local governmental unit of this state whose rates are not subject to regulation by or any sewage disposal system company may submit an application to the public utilities commission shall request for an increase or decrease in rates when the any rate or charge for, respectively, water or sewage treatment, if both of the following conditions are met:
(1) The water or sewage treatment is provided to the company by either of the following:
(a) A municipal corporation or other local governmental unit of this state whose rates are not subject to regulation by the commission;
(b) Another waterworks company, or another sewage disposal system company, that is a public utility and whose rates for the water, or the sewage treatment, have been approved by the commission pursuant to an application filed under section 4909.18 of the Revised Code.
(2) The change in rate or charge is based solely on a change in the cost to the company of the water imposed on the waterworks company by the municipal corporation or other governmental unit and, in such instance, sections or the sewage treatment.
Sections 4909.18 and 4909.19 of the Revised Code do not apply to any application filed under this section. When the waterworks company requests a rate change, it shall file with the commission An application shall be accompanied by evidence of the new rates imposed by the municipal corporation or other governmental unit and charges charged the company by a provider described in division (A)(1)(a) or (b) of this section.
(B) Pursuant to the filing of an application under division (A) of this section by a waterworks company or a sewage disposal system company, the commission shall approve appropriate tariff revisions, without in the schedule of the company filed under section 4905.30 of the Revised Code, which revisions shall reflect solely the change in the cost to the company of the water or the sewage treatment, as specified in division (A) of this section and no other cost, charge, or item, and shall not change in the distribution of the revenue responsibility of the various classes of the company's customers, which revisions shall become effective immediately.
(C) An increase authorized pursuant to division (B) of this section shall not be effective until ten days after the date the waterworks company or the sewage disposal system company has provided affected customers with notification of the increase, in such form and by such method as the commission shall prescribe.
Sec. 4909.172. (A) A waterworks company, or a sewage disposal system company, that is a public utility may file an application with the commission for approval to collect surcharges from all its customers to cover the company's costs of infrastructure plant incurred after March 1, 2003, and to provide a fair and reasonable rate of return on the valuation of that plant investment. The company's costs of infrastructure plant may include depreciation expenses. Such infrastructure plant shall exclude any improvement providing the company with additional revenue other than any minimal revenue associated with the elimination of a dead end and shall consist of all of the following:
(1) In the case of a waterworks company, services for, and hydrants, mains, and valves installed as a part of, a replacement project for an existing facility; main extensions installed to eliminate dead ends to resolve documented water supply problems presenting significant health or safety issues to then existing customers; and main cleaning or relining;
(2) In the case of a sewage disposal system company, mains and lift stations installed as part of a replacement project for an existing facility; main extensions installed to resolve documented sewage disposal problems presenting significant health or safety issues to then existing customers; and main cleaning, inflow and infiltration elimination, or relining;
(3) Unreimbursed capital expenditures made by the waterworks company, or the sewage disposal system company, for waterworks, or sewage disposal, facility relocation required by a governmental entity due to a street or highway project;
(4) Minimum land or land rights acquired by the company as necessary for any service, equipment, or facility described in division (A)(1) to (3) of this section.
(B) The commission, independent of any other matter related to the waterworks company's or the sewage disposal system company's revenue requirement, may authorize by order the surcharges described in division (A) of this section pursuant to an application filed under that division, except that the commission shall not authorize any surcharge to be effective on or after January 1, 2015. Any surcharge authorized under this division shall be limited to not more than three per cent of the rates and charges in effect on the date of the application for each customer class of the company. A company for which a surcharge has been authorized under this division may file an application for another surcharge not sooner than twelve months after the filing date of its most recent application. The commission shall not authorize a company to have more than three surcharges in effect at any time.
(C) During the period that an authorized surcharge is in effect, the commission, by order and on its own motion or upon good cause shown, may reduce the surcharge to prevent the company from earning an excessive rate of return on its valuation under section 4909.15 of the Revised Code.
(D) An order issued by the commission deciding an application by a waterworks company or a sewage disposal system company for an increase in rates and charges pursuant to an application filed by the company under section 4909.18 of the Revised Code shall provide for the termination, as of the earlier of the effective date of the increase or the date specified in division (E) of this section, of any then existing surcharges of the company authorized under division (B) of this section.
(E) All surcharges authorized pursuant to this section shall terminate by operation of law not later than December 31, 2014.
(F) The commission may adopt such rules as it considers necessary to carry out this section.
Section 2. That existing section 4909.171 of the Revised Code is hereby repealed.
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