The Utility Workers Union of America, which represents workers at the water company and was participating in the rate case, did not endorse the final version of the plan.
If approved by the commission, the new rate plan would take effect in mid-October. The proposal also bars the company from filing another rate increase with the PSC until after Jan. 1, 2015.
Since the rate case process takes several months, the earliest the company could raise rates would be sometime in the fall of 2015.
Estimates for how much more the average customer will pay each month under the new plan vary, depending on how one defines average.
The water company said the average residential customer, who uses 3,315 gallons a month, would see a monthly increase of about $2.77, from $39.11 to $41.88.
Harris said most households use about 4,500 gallons each month. By that calculation, he said the average water customer would see their bill increase by $3.57 from $50.50 to $54.07 each month.
The proposal also increases sewer rates for nearly 1,100 wastewater customers in Fayetteville by 14 percent. It will bring in about $337,412 annually.
The water company had requested a 44 percent increase in those rates to cover system costs. The proposal helps ease those costs by spreading them out across the company's water ratepayers.
Harris said this was designed to help Fayetteville residents avoid a one-time massive rate shock.
Though water bills will go higher under the plan, Harris said the settlement was a reasonable compromise.
"Nobody's happy to have an increase in rates, but a 7 percent increase is better than a 20 percent increase like the company filed for," he said. "And we have an assurance that the company won't be able to raise rates again until very late in 2015."
Commissioners have until October to approve or reject the proposal.
Contact writer Jared Hunt at busin...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4836.
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