Aqua likely to keep most of rate increases
It looks like Aqua Utilities will keep most of the $2.6 million in rate increases that it secured last year. After the Florida Public Service Commission heard a lengthy appeal in the statewide utility rate case Tuesday, the Office of Public Counsel estimated Wednesday that customers would see a $2.57 million annual rate increase. The PSC staff, which had said that earlier public counsel calculations of its recommendations were "in error," still had not released a figure based on the PSC's decisions Tuesday. "While we are disappointed in the final outcome, this is a slight decrease from the staff recommendation of approximately $2.8 million," the Office of Public Counsel said in a statement Wednesday. Individual rates for each of the 85 water and sewer systems owned by Aqua have yet to be determined. Aqua Utilities has 23,750 water and sewer customers in 16 counties. They include residents in Jasmine Lakes and Palm Terrace Gardens in west Pasco and the Zephyr Shores mobile home park just west of Zephyrhills.
Coalition takes award again
The Early Learning Coalition of Pasco and Hernando Counties Inc. won the "BE MORE Humble" award for the second time in three years at the 2012 WEDU "BE MORE" Awards. The coalition competed against top nonprofit organizations and companies within the Tampa Bay region, including AMI Kids Inc.; Children First Inc.; Operation PAR; and the Junior League of Tampa Inc. The award was driven by an online poll that ran from November to December. Visit www.wedu.org/news for information about the awards. Visit www.phelc.org for information about the coalition and its services, which include subsidized child care for low income families and administration of the state's pre-kindergarten.
Businessman's seminar Monday
"Government Gone Wild", a free seminar on government spending and the national debt by Hernando County businessman Blaise Ingoglia, will be at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Zephyrhills Wesleyan Church, 38924 C Ave. (at 20th Street). A patriotic musical will be conducted by Pastors Dan and Patty David. For information call Dick Albrecht at (813) 780-7328.
Enjoy hot dogs, fractions at school
Mary Giella Elementary will host a Family Freaky Fraction Night and Hot Dog Picnic Dinner from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the school, 14710 Shady Hills Road. To register, call Shirley Picklo at (727) 774-5829.
Port Richey faces a 21 percent hike in employee health insurance costs. But it could have been worse. Story, Page 3