Utility rate study open to the public

Sunday, May 27, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 9:05 a.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2008

The Columbia City Council is inviting the public to participate in a work session on a consultant’s study of local utility rates.

“This meeting will allow for public education and fairness,” city spokeswoman Toni Messina said.

Virchow Krause & Company, which operates primarily in Wisconsin and the Chicago area, is the consulting firm hired by the city to conduct the study. The firm will analyze revenue requirements and the cost of services for water, electric and wastewater utilities, according to a news release from the city. It will also research cash flow projections for each utility and recommend an extension of services to new customers.

“The more people that know about it, the more people will understand, and the more informed questions that they will be able to ask,” Messina said.

Connie Kacprowicz, spokeswoman for the Columbia Water and Light Department, said the department continually analyzes the cost of providing services.

“The benefit of hiring a consultant company is to give us a better outsider perspective on the analysis,” Kacprowicz said.

The public meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the City Council chambers in the Daniel Boone City Building, 701 E. Broadway.

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