March 14, 2017
Kiawah Island Utility Rate Settlement Announcement
The Town of Kiawah Island and the Kiawah Island Community Association are pleased to inform Kiawah’s residents and property owners that they have reached a tentative agreement with the Kiawah Island Utility, Inc. and the South Carolina Office of Regulatory Staff on a proposed rate adjustment for water and sewer service. The settlement will be submitted to the South Carolina Public Service Commission for approval on March 21, 2017.
In late 2016, the Utility filed for a rate adjustment which included a 25.6% increase to water and sewer rates. Their proposed increase was intended to reflect their increased costs since their last rate adjustment in 2012 and to recover the significant costs associated with the completion of a new water line connecting the island to the Utility’s supplier on Johns Island. Both the Town and the Community Association filed to intervene in the case, concerned about the size of the increase and its impact on property owners.
If ultimately approved, the agreement calls for a 14.6% adjustment to water and sewer rates, significantly lower than the 25.6% requested by KIU Inc. This agreement and the new rates require and are pending final approval by the South Carolina Public Services Commission
Mayor Craig Weaver stated, “we think this adjustment reflects an equitable agreement for both the Utility and Kiawah’s property owners. The Utility was urged several years ago to make this investment in a new water line to ensure that residents and businesses had reliable and uninterrupted service. At the same time, it is important that the KIU maintain an operating and cost structure that provides residents and businesses on Kiawah with competitive rates and limits the need for rate increases. This agreement is a good example of the benefit of the Town and Community Association working closely together on concerns important to the community.”
Kiawah Island Utility, Inc. is a private company and is the sole provider of water and sewer services to Kiawah Island. Originally owned and operated by Kiawah Development Partners, the company was sold to and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Southwest Water Company, headquartered in Sugar Land, TX. Further information will be provided by KIU directly to their customers after a final ruling on the proposed agreement by the South Carolina PSC later this month.