Case Number: 09-0549

Consolidations

  • November 29, 2010

    I only make $16,000. a year and cannot afford this rate increase which is about %100. I am very upset and want to protest this rate increase.
  • March 9, 2010

    In reference to Utilities, Inc.'s request for a 400% water rate increase, the Commission should be aware that this company's billing practices are outrageous. For years, we have routinely been charged late payment fees despite the fact that we pay our bills promptly. Their tactic is to fail to send bills and later asses late payment charges. When we complain (which we have done as recently as today, speaking to a woman named Ashley) they blame the post office (yes, really) for failing to deliver their bills. They have even had the nerve to report the alleged late payments to the credit rating agencies. In reviewing the consumer comments triggered by their shocking rate increase request, I have noticed that this seems to be standard practice for this company (see comments under the consolidated Apple Canyon Lake case which reference the same "postal" excuse). I think that this case would be a good opportunity for the Commission to look into this practice.

    Thank you for your consideration
    Frank and Cherie Pereiro

    Frank and Cherie Pereiro
  • March 1, 2010

    The proposed general inrease is not a general increase. Instead, it is an outrageous increase reflecting corporate greed. It is my hope that your governmental office can offer up some type of protection against Lake Wiildwood Utilities and their abrasive techniques in remedying the current situation.
    John T. LaSota
  • February 1, 2010

    We are residents of Lake Wildwood and we are outraged that Utilities, Inc. is attempting to raise water rates by up to 400%. They have communicated absolutely no justification for this proposal to Lake Wildwood residents. This is probably because there is no justification that, with proper notice, could not be refuted by the residents and they are hoping that their proposal will just slip by.
    Lake Wildwood is a very stable community which has not experienced any remarkable growth or change in decades. Utilities, Inc has made no visible capital expenditures nor upgrade in service and the labor costs in our community are, unfortunately, declining.

    I hope the Commission sees this request as a grab for revenue and protects the consumers at Lake Wildwwod.

    Thank you

    Frank and Cherie Pereiro

    Frank and Cherie Pereiro
  • February 1, 2010

    As a resident of Lake Wildwood since 1996 I have always enjoyed living here. I am not beyond rate increases fo public utilities, but the increase you are proposing results in a 400% increase. This is totally unacceptable. We will be present at the meeting in Feburary to voice our concerns regarding this matter. I do thank-you for the opportunity to have a web page to go to and express our concerns on this matter. Sincerely, Randy S. Hart
    Randy Hart
  • February 1, 2010

    Illinois Commerce Commission and Case Workers I own lot 532 at Lake Wildwood and there is no structures on this lot. The only water on my lot is when it rains or when the snow melts. I am currently being billed by Lake Wildwood utilities twice a year for a water availability service. I have asked to be taken off this service but the utility will not allow me to be taken off. I have not been to Lake Wildwood or even in Marshall County in over 10 years. I know of no benefit that I or my lot is receiving by my continuing to pay this bill every six months. If the Lake Wildwood Association is using the water, the utility should be billing the Association and my dues should be used to pay the utility company. I have never heard of an availability charge. Do other utilities have such a change? Should consumers pay an availability charge for everything they potentially may use but don't? I really think that this water availability change for lot owners who don't use any water is illegal and should be investigated by the State Attorney General. Thank you for your consideration on this case.
    Stuart Devine
  • January 19, 2010

    Customer called to oppose the proposed rate increase. Feels that the amount of the increase is outrageous, and an increase (based on average usage) from $18 to $65 is just outrageous.
  • January 15, 2010

    I think the rate increase that Lake Wildwood Utilities Corp. is asking for is quite revolting. We do not have a home on our lot but have had to pay for water rights (I guess that is what it is). The increase that they are asking for is so out of line.

    We are on a fixed income, (social security) and only wish that we could get an increase like the Utility Company is asking for. We and our children & grandchildren enjoy the Lake and would hate to have to sell due to something as stupid as this increase. .

    We do not live at the Lake so we are not aware of the problems that the people live there are having but sure do understand the issue.

    The government needs to realize that giving in to all these increases that companies are asking for just a foot in the door for them. Also, you the government need to realize that with so many people out of work, how do you expect people to pay for the company increases and well as your raises that you get all the time.

    Please do not give in to this company and let them increase the rates.

    Sincerely,

    Robert M. Struthers

    Robert M. Struthers
  • January 8, 2010

    on-line complaint tracking # 0036:

    They are wanting to triple our basic rate and triple our usage rates! This is ridiculous. People won't be able to afford paying more when they are struggling now to pay all their bills with the economy. I can see them wanting to raise the fees but not tripling it!!

  • December 31, 2009

    We own a cabin at Lake Wildwood. We did not go there from the first of November 2008 until the end of March 2009. The water was shut down in two places - just outside the house and at the first entrance in the house. During that time, we received water bills indicating between 1000 and 2000 gallons of water usage over several months. Each of these bills stated that they were actual readings (even though there were no footprints in the snow after one of these readings). These "actual" readings showing water usage caused us to investigate whether we had a leak. We did not (this winter's usage shows zero water used, and no repairs were done at any time). To their credit, after three phone calls, the company did agree to shut off the water at the street as a precaution.
    We strongly disagree with any rate increase, particularly the exorbitant increase being requested.

    Darrell Taylor
  • December 29, 2009

    WE FEEL THAT THE PROPOSED 400% RATE INCREASE FOR LAKE WILDWOOD UTILITIES IS UNFAIR. THERE ARE RETIREES IN THIS AREA WITH FIXED INCOMES. WE ARE OPPOSED TO A RATE INCREASE FOR LAKE WILDWOOD UTILITIES CORPORATION.
  • December 10, 2009

    I disagree with the increase requested for Lake Wildwood, Varna, Illinois.

    The amount of increase seems way unreasonable, irregardless of the current economy.

    Dan Golenia
  • December 9, 2009

    I wish to strongly object to the 400% raise in water rates in Lake Wildwood. How can a rate jump that high? I am on social security and would find it a great hardship to pay that fee. There have been no improvements that would warrant a 400% hike. Let's be reasonable. Many people are on fixed incomes and have lost their jobs, so don't make it impossible for them to have WATER.
    Virginia Bulat
  • December 9, 2009

    Dear Commission Members: When you consider the rate increase requested by our water company, please consider the customers, who can not go elsewhere to receive water service. Many are on fixed incomes and many do not receive any service at all except the potential to have service. I do not believe Utility, Incorporated can justify any increase. Please look at this matter closely. Please do not allow this company to run roughshod over the people they are supposed to serve. At our meeting, they sent a representative who could not answer any questions and an employee who admitted he had not flushed hydrants as was supposed to be done. They sent out a letter which they admitted was incorrect and could not tell us what it should have said. They want to raise our fees by 400 per cent. Certainly this is not acceptable. Please help us. Thank you.
    sherin bayler
  • December 9, 2009

    LAKE WILDWOOD UTILITIES CORPORATION IS PROPOSING A RATE INCREASE OF 400%. THEY ARE ASKING AN INCREASE IN THE BASE RATE FROM $10 PER MONTH TO $45 PER MONTH. THE INCREASE FOR USAGE WOULD BE FROM $3.62 PER 1000 GALLONS TO $9.09 PER $1000 GALLONS. IT IS UNREASONABLE TO INCREASE THE RATES BY THIS AMOUNT. THE INCREASE IS NOT JUSTIFIED. THE UTILITY IS NOT LOCALLY OWNED. THE OWNERS ARE NOT ACCOUNTABLE TO THE CUSTOMERS. I AM OPPOSED TO THE RATE INCREASE FOR LAKE WILDWOOD UTILITIES CORPORATION.
  • December 8, 2009

    An increase of 400% is completely out of line. If this were a good economy we were in it would be bad enough but in this bad economy it is criminal. What could possibly be the cause of such an increase? This would make it not only impossible for me to continue to own property in Lake Wildwood but would make it impossible to sell it. I am paying for water that I don't use as it is. To multiply this by 400% is completely unreasonable.
    BART.GILMORE
  • December 8, 2009

    We are extremely unhappy with the proposed price increase. 400% seems unreasonable to say the least. Your notification did not adequately explain why these increase are needed. At the very least the increases should be in small increments and not thrown on the consumer all at one time. In this economy, consumers are already stretched to the limit. We understand that utilities are also. But we must all tighten the belt. What will we be getting for our money in the future? What are you going to do to assure the consumer that this will be the LAST increase for a very long time? The fact that you say that rates may increase or decrease for individual customers is very open-ended. How will these increases (decreases seem doubtful) be determined?

    Water is very important for healthy living and we don't mind paying our fair share. However, this proposal seems excessive.

    Arthur H. Katzmann and Deborah L. Katzmann
  • December 8, 2009

    I wish to file a protest to the 400% rate increase of our water rate. Our community is has a large retired population on a fixed income. This rate increase would be a burden the residents.
    Craig L Klatzco
  • December 8, 2009

    The proposed rate increase is absurd. It is more than double....and there is no justification for it! I propose checking into getting our own water
    Pat Tiberi
  • December 8, 2009

    The decision to increase rates and service fees by Utilities Inc. is based on greed and nothing more.

    Regardless of the last time the company increased service rates, the cost to maintain the systems at Lake Wildwood have NOT increased by the amount the company is asking. If the service were to increase by the same multiple factor as the one being sought by Utilities Inc. for the CHARGE of service, there would be no complaints and an overwhelming support for the company.

    The fact that MANY MORE consumers are not paying for services will nullify the claim that it COSTS MORE to provide services today. The number of consumers at the location is at and all time HIGH and the profit is there. When it is wasted on FAILED or OVEREXTENDED projects, the consumer MUST NOT be expected to assume the burden of poor decisions.

    An audit of Utilites Inc. will show that the company simply seeks to profit on the CAPTIVE customer who has nowhere else to turn. This outrageous increase will have either of two outcomes.

    1. Help balance the financial losses of Utilities Inc. in other decisions and/or projects.
    or
    2. Force the purchse of the service by the customer to accomplish outcome #1.

    In short, we (the Lake Wildwood customer) are being forced to assume responsibility for the poor planning and decision making of the Utilites Inc. management.

    This BAILOUT is no more balanced or warranted than any other RATE increase sought by companies that were GREEDY and OVEREXTENDED in order to FLUFF the pockets of those managing the company hoping to get on the =Good Times= band wagon.

    I ask the ICC to perform the task you were created for and PROTECT the CONSUMERS of this company.

    Thank you.
    With Respect and Faith.
    Mark Neyrinck CISSP

    Mark Neyrinck
  • December 8, 2009

    Our utility company's rate case is unnecessary and unjustified. Their own annual statement shows that they have set aside several thousand dollars for taxes next year which shows they expect to make a nice profit from their cutomers here at Wildwood.Many of the residents here are retired and living on limited fixed incomes. We can not stand to pay the outrageous rate they propose. The rate we pay now is rather high. Please do not let them raise their rates.
    Leslie Maxedon
  • December 8, 2009

    Please DO NOT ALLOW the proposed 400% water rate increase that Lake Wildwood Utilities Corporation is trying to gouge us with. A 20% to 40% rate hike would be affordable but the proposed increase is unexceptable.
    Thank You for hearing my concern.
    Fred Nimke
    Lot 1001

    Mr and Mrs Fred Nimke
  • December 8, 2009

    At this time i do not feel it is an option of a rate increase. With the current state of our nation. Now is not the time for increase's .People in general can not afford to pay any more in utility cost.More people are getting laid off and loss there jobs. I also am a resident of bolingbrook il and we are figthing an increase here also. Thanks
    trinedad garza
  • December 8, 2009

    Re: Above-mentioned case concerning the water rate increase affecting land owners within Lake Wildwood in Varna, IL. This exhorbitant increase is believed to be grossly unjustified. I oppose the increase as I am aware of no just cause to have our rates TRIPLED.

    On our behalf, I request your intervention with Lake Wildwood Utilities, Inc. to appeal their decsion for this outrageous increase.

    Thank you in advance for your consideration in this matter.

    Joan Richied
  • December 8, 2009

    We feel there should not be a increase in our water bill because the rate increase is to extreme, it will triple our water bill from our current rate. In these economic times it would cause great financial hardship. We are only 2 people living in the household and do not even drink the water. We use very little water at all. We feel maybe for Alot of us out here in Lake wildwood who live on fixed incomes because several are either retired or disabled and full time residents If the rate was a smaller increase then that could be considered. We do understand the needs for improvements, but to increase the rates they are considering is way out of our budget. We live on a fixed income and it is low. Please take this into serious consideration. We need your help. Thank You.
    John and Julie Randolph
  • December 8, 2009

    Concerning the above-mentioned proposed water rate increase
    Joan Richied
  • December 8, 2009

    I cannot imagine a scenario that could justify a 300 to 400 percent rate increase. Are they not amortizing the cost of the new well? If this rate goes through as requested, I will probably be ahead to drill my own well and discontinue Lake Wildwood Utilities water.

    Respectfully
    Ward Bivens

    Ward Bivens
  • December 8, 2009

    I believe the water rate hike being proposed from $3.62 per 1000 gallons to $9.00 per 1000 gallons is excessive and inappropriate. A 400% increase during these current economic times is wrong.

    I would expect our elected officials understand the financial pressures the people of Illinois are under and consider actions like this carefully. While it is easy to shift the burden of costs onto the people through taxes and rate hike on all sorts of goods and services, it does nothing but become the final straw that breaks the backs of already financially stressed people. It is my hope that we, as a state, are not this desperate.

    Tom Carroll
  • December 8, 2009

    I believe the approximately 400% increase in rates submitted by Utilities, Inc. is excessive and also request a public forum be held to discuss the justification of this rate request.
    William Hart
  • December 8, 2009

    Lake Wildwood Utilities Inc is proposing an astronomical rate increase which I beleive is so out of line!

    This company is providing no concrete answers on why the rate increase is necessary, although they did have a representative attend a board meeting last month at Lake Wildwood. The representative they sent was almost a joke as he could not provide real facts, He tried very hard to appease the concerned residents but really made things worse by having no concrete figures on their expenditures.

    I can understand a slight increase of maybe 10% but NOT 300 or 400% as proposed. Alot of the homeowners at Lake Wildwood are only weekenders that vacation here during the summer months. They will be hit so hard with this increase that they could be forced to sell. Our economy is bad enough. We should be trying to keep rates and services stable rather than inflating them in these hard times. Please help us keep the increase to a minimum!

    Edward and Joanne Slepicka
  • December 8, 2009

    I do not believe that the rate increase as suggested by our water company is either justified or warranted by their supposed cost to deliver / maintain the water system for Lake Wildwood !
    William T. Giles
  • December 8, 2009

    We would like to voice our concerns about the outrageous water rate increase being requested by the Lake Wildwood Utilities Corporation (LWUC). We own a cottage in Lake Wildwood and visit there about 30 days per year and usually use less than 1000 gallons per month resulting in a bill of $11 to $12 per month. I agree this is very low and some increase is justified, however LWUC is requesting a 436% increase in the base charge and a 251% increase in the usage charge, which is outrageous! Based on those new charges, our future bills will be at least $48 per month, or 4 times higher than now!
    Our permanent residence is in Columbia, IL and we have water service from Illinois American Water. We pay $13.39 for basic service, plus $3.883 per 1000 gallons used, and our monthly bills are usually around $40.
    How can the LWUC justify these excessive high rates, especially when compared with current rates from Illinois American? LWUC has listed various improvements in facility and equipment they have invested in, but those should be covered by funds collected and saved over the past years. They do not seem to be following proper budgeting and planning like the rest of us!
    I could probably live with rates that are DOUBLE the current levels, but that is still excessive compared to the normal market rates (Illinois American).
    Please consider this information and stop the LWUC request from going forward. Hold them to a much lower rate increase and ensure they are audited for proper management of the funds they are collecting so they can live withing their means in future years!
    Thanks for your consideration in this matter. Mark and Deb Funfsinn.

    Mark and Deb Funfsinn
  • December 3, 2009

    on-line tracking # 3443:

    I am against the increase in water rates

  • December 2, 2009

    Lake Wildwood Utilities Company is trying to obtain a 400% rate increase to our water bill. I know that every company wants to make their share holders happy but going from a $25 per month to a $100 per mo. is robbery. Please reject their request. Thanks.
    Ronald Trahan
  • December 2, 2009

    I don't think the rate increase requested by this water company is justified. They are very hard to work with and essentially try not to fix anything. Many of the customers are seasonal and the no use rate is ridiculous.

    I had a leak by the road two years ago, called the company, they gave me a name for repairs of a man who hasn't worked through them for two years. Said he hadn't been paid in a reasonable amount of time. So I was on my own for repair. The company who fixed it had to do it without shutting down the supply line as no one knows where the shutoff valves are located. Kind of tough to replace a valve with 50 plus pounds of water pressure coming through it.

    It seems to me that this water system is sold and the new owner reeps what they can from it and then it is sold again. No consideration of the customers other that the billing. We know the billing gets screwed up also. It happened to our son.

    Verlin K. Egly
  • December 2, 2009

    I oppose the rate hike that Lake Wildwood Utilities is proposing. A 300&400 percent rate increase which, at this point, is a gouge to the consumer. The question that I have is, all of the updates that the Utility company has stated happened in 06, Why are they now adjusting the rate increase at this time? What happened three year's prior? Also, the upgrades that they have stated only one has been completed to satisfaction. I find this request to be unfair and I am looking for the Commission's support to oppose such a rate increase. The utility company is also charging members that do not have homes on the property for an access fee. Why? I would recommend that if this increase goes through, the people who do have homes and/or reside here have an opportunity to explore our own wells. This would curtail any greed setforth by a company that seems to deem they are just in this type of rate increase.

    Thank you for your time and consideration in addressing the issue at Lake Wildwood.

    David Smid
  • December 2, 2009

    While I don't object to, and even feel the utilities company deserves an increase, I do feel that what amounts to a 400% increase is tremendously excessive!! I only wish my income had increased 400%, especially in these recessionary times!

    Thank You

    Thomas P Maloney
  • December 2, 2009

    I am writing in regards to the increase proposed by the Lake Wildwood Utilities Corporation. The reason I am writing is that I disagree with the magnitude of the increase they are requesting. The utility has not given sufficient justification for a rate change that will effectivly increase monthly costs by a factor of 5. In a mailing to the homeowners the utility attempted to justify the increase by providing a 'laundry list' of expenditures it claims to have incurred however they failed to quantify these expenditures. After reviewing the list I'm at a loss regarding which of these were so large as to warrant such an increase. In addition, some of these items I would argue are part of the normal operations which should be covered under the existing fee structure.

    Until the utility can justify such a drastic increase by providing more details around the expenditures, including why these are not covered by the current fee structure, I request that you refuse to allow them to increase our rates.

    Please feel free to contact me should you wish to discuss this matter further.

    Regards,

    Joel Gierek
    (H) 847-705-9978

    Joel Gierek
  • December 2, 2009

    our water utility company Lake Wildwood Utilities, Inc. is unfairly raising our rates. This is unfair and I protest. I would like further review and assistance in stopping this.
    Elinor Lamont
  • December 2, 2009

    The requested increase of 400% is obviously much too high. I get the impression that they want a large increase not justified by the proposed changes in their operation and ask for the gouging increase hoping for something less but still large. They have not improved service and in fact get "access" from every lot owner even if, as most do not, the owner has never used a drop of water. Most of the owners do not have a water outlet on their empty lots.

    I expect increases from time to time but expect them to be reasonable.

    Thank you,

    Gerald Zabojnik

    Gerald Zabojnik
  • December 2, 2009

    I personally have had no problems with the water company. I understand the need for rate increases based on the number of customers served per miles of water lines to maintain. I do take exception with the size of the increase requested. I have a difficult time understanding the need for a 300% increase in the base rate. I have seen no supporting facts that would indicate the need for an increase of this magnitude.
    Rolland D. Marshall
  • December 2, 2009

    Sir or Ma'am,
    Lake Wildwood Utilities, Inc. owned by Utilities, Inc has asked the Illinois Commerce Commission for a water rate increase of nearly 400%. Lake Wildwood Utilities, Inc. is trying to justify this drastic increase by incorporating a new automatic billing system that is used for their parent company Utilities, Inc. and not solely for Lake Wildwood Utilities, Inc. The members of Lake Wildwood Association, Inc. are requesting a public forum to be held in order to discuss the justification of these enormous rate increases. We have a lodge that will hold over 120 people that can be used; free of charge, if the Illinois Commerce Commission allows us the right to a public forum. We understand that there has not been a rate increase by our utility company in a few years, but these capital improvement costs should be amortized over the life of the system itself. There is no justification for a one time rate increase of this amount. If the water company plans to ask for the highest possible rate increase in order to have the Illinois Commerce Commission raise the rates as high as possible we are confident that the Illinois Commerce Commission will see through this waste of the Illinois Commerce Commission's time and not allow this drastic increase to happen.
    Respectfully,
    John Bayler
    Lake Wildwood Association, Inc. General Manager

    John Bayler
  • December 2, 2009

    I will be at the public forum to tell the story on how Utilities Inc. mishandled my account billing and shut-off my water.
    Bob Hamilton
  • December 2, 2009

    You are kidding right.... as much as a 400% percent increase... that is crazy... I can certainly see that an increase may be needed but the rate should be a tiered increase at the very least.
    Julie Hubbard
  • December 2, 2009

    I would like to file a complaint against docket # 09-0549 and also request a public forum to address rate increases.
  • November 16, 2009

    Lake Wildwood Utilities has entered a request to raise basic rates from $10.34 to $45.07 per month. This more than quadruples the rate for just being attached to a water line. Why have rates not been slowly raised over the years to keep up with costs rather than allowing the system to need upgrades and quadrupling rates? This is poor management. Our family owns a tiny little summer cottage that only has the water on from April to October or November. We are only there on weekends. We understand the need to support the water system for the community, however this fee increase is irresponsible and places an undue burden on the residents. Our family, which uses little water even during the summer would be forced to pay $540.84 a year for water we don't even use. Now we pay just over $120. With this type of increase it will be cheaper to have the water shut off by the company rather than turn it off ourselves and pay the fees for shut off and turn on. I assume if a general movement begins to take that action it will further damage the finances of Lake Wildwood Utilities. I appeal to the Commission to see that this company use better stewardship of its resources and not allow this enormous increase in basic rates.
    Patricia J. Noack
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