Agency appeals rate hike for Aqua Utilities
The state agency that represents customers in utility cases has appealed the $2.6 million in higher rates that regulators awarded to Aqua Utilities. Aqua has water and wastewater systems in three Pasco communities: Jasmine Lakes, Palm Terrace and Zephyr Shores. Under the new rates, a typical Jasmine Lakes homeowner would pay $120 monthly, while customers in the other two areas would pay $132 a month. The state Office of Public Counsel filed a formal protest of the rates Friday, challenging five aspects of the decision by the Public Service Commission. The appeal argues Aqua's quality of service should be deemed "unsatisfactory" and that the new rates are unaffordable for many homeowners. The public counsel also asked for the new hearing to be held in central Florida because it would be "fundamentally unfair" for Aqua's customers to travel to Tallahassee to participate. Lower rates won during the appeal could be partially offset by the utility's expenses to argue the case.
New Port Richey
Wrestling event honors Savage
A live wrestling show Saturday will pay tribute to the late "Macho Man" Randy Savage. Proceeds will benefit All Children's Hospital in St. Petersburg and St. Jude's Hospital in Tennessee, which Savage supported, said promoter Dino Puglia. Tickets are $5. The show will include a concert by Hollow Heroes, followed by a video tribute to Savage featuring some of his most memorable matches. A live wrestling show is the main event, with seven matches featuring Ox Baker, The Genius Lanny Poffo, The Honkytonk Man, "Outlaw" Ron Bass, Titan, Bugsy McGraw, Valek and Big Vito. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.; the show starts at 7 at the All Sports Arena, 7716 Rutilio Court, off Congress Street. Call (727) 845-7808.
NEW PORT RICHEY
Hospice honored as top nonprofit
Gulfside Regional Hospice was named the 2011 nonprofit of the year by the Tampa Bay Business Journal at a luncheon last week. Forty finalists in seven fields were featured: arts, culture and humanities, crisis resources, education, environment and animals, family services, health services and public and societal benefit. Gulfside Regional Hospice also received the category award for health services. "(We) are humbled to win this prestigious award. We are proud to serve the community with all of the nonprofits and finalists in Tampa Bay," said Linda Ward, Gulfside's president and CEO. This marked the Business Journal's seventh year recognizing local nonprofit organizations. Gulfside was established as a nonprofit corporation in Pasco County in 1988. It employs more than 250 professionals and has more than 550 volunteers. For more information, call 727-845-5707 or visit GRHospice.org.