24 Aug 2009

Claims American Samoa utility has no choice but to increase charges

3:30 pm on 24 August 2009

A public meeting in American Samoa has been told that the American Samoa Power Authority has no choice but to increase the charges for providing water and the removal of waste water and solid waste.

The rates are going up on October 1st.

Dan Jackson, the Managing Director of Economists.com, the company which conducted the Authority's rate study, defends the move, saying this will be ASPA's first rate increase in ten years which he says is remarkable given the impact of inflation on operational costs.

He says even with the new proposed rates, American Samoa would still have the lowest utility bills in the Pacific region.

"These rate adjustments are less than what we originally thought they would be, because of the fact there were very difficult and very painful budget cuts earlier this year. For most residential users the impact is to see an increase in your bills of between 15 and 20 dollars a month for all your services. And finally the failure to implement the rate plan will lead to severe reductions in the quality of service."