An emergency rate increase for a Kentucky water district that is on the brink of collapse has been approved by state regulators. The Kentucky Public Service Commission on Friday granted Martin County Water an annual revenue increase of about 26.5 percent. The commission said the average monthly residential bill will rise by more than $11, going from almost $40 to more than $51. The increase includes an increase in base rates and a separate surcharge that will be used by the utility to reduce unpaid bills. The PSC said in a news release that the district faces a dire situation and expressed sympathy for customers and the widespread opposition to increased rates. The order said without relief, the district wouldn’t be able to operate and there would be no water service.
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