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Nov 3, 2009

Only 4 respond to PUC on proposed water rates increase

Meanwhile, consumers will have to worry about one more expense; the water bill. The Public Utilities Commission, P.U.C., reports that it has received only four written comments on a submission by the Belize Water Services for a twenty-five percent increase in water rates next year. Of the four comments, two were outright objections while another suggested that serious improvement of service should be reached before any increase is considered. The fourth comment suggested that an operational audit should be conducted to identify and correct B.W.S.’s shortcomings. All be told, the government owned utility company is surely to approve the increase. Prime Minister Dean Barrow, at his press conference last Thursday, pointed to the company’s financial woes to support the rate hike due by April 2010. BWS applied for the increase on the grounds that it has invested some thirty million dollars over the past five years and that coupled with its growing population, the company has reached a point where it can no longer sustain itself. BWS wants to raise one hundred and sixteen million dollars investments for a five year business plan for the period 2010 to 2015.

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