July 26, 2011
Texas Senators Kirk Watson (D-Austin) and Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) will co-chair a meeting of a Senate subcommittee investigating investor-owned water utilities and increasing water and sewer rates assessed by those companies.
The hearing will be on Thursday, July 28, at 10:00 a.m., and will be held in hearing room E1.016 in the Capitol Extension.
The subcommittee consists of members of the Senate Business & Commerce and Natural Resources committees. It will look into water providers such as Monarch Utilities, which, following the adjournment of the 82nd regular Texas Legislative Session, notified customers living and working in large parts of Central and East Texas of a significant rate increase scheduled to take effect August 1. Once this rate increase goes into effect, a typical Monarch customer could pay rates that are more than twice as high as those for the average water utility customer in a Texas city
Monarch Utilities is a division of the California-based Southwest Water Company, and it is owned primarily by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.