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Illinois American Water asks for rate hike

By Adam Allington, St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis – Some Illinois residents may soon pay more for water.

The Illinois American Water Company is asking state regulators to approve a 25 percent rate hike, which would bring the company an extra 60 million dollars.

But Jim Chilsen of the Citizens Utility Board, a consumer advocacy group, said Illinois American's pleas of poverty are overblown.

"Companies have every right to have a healthy profit," Chilsen said. "The problem is, the company's definition of healthy is often exorbitant. We really feel that the company is trying to reach into our pockets too deeply here."

The company says the rate request would go into statewide investments in pumps, pipes, treatment facilities and other infrastructure this year and next.

The Illinois Commerce Commission is holding a public hearing to discuss the rate proposal, at 7 this evening in Alton.