Pine Bluff water company asks for 17% rate increase

PINE BLUFF, Ark. (AP) - The water company that provides water to Pine Bluff residents is asking for a 17 percent rate increase.

United Water officials say the increase is needed because of declining revenue due to the city's falling population. United Water manager Lester Melton says the utility has lost about 1,500 customers in the past 10 years and that revenue is down about $800,000 since 2007.

The Arkansas Public Service Commission isn't expected to rule on the request until later this year and Melton says the increase would not go into effect before next January.

United Water's last rate increase was a 12 percent increase in 2007.

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