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Fees for water, groundwater protection, solid waste all going up

ASPA fee hikes for some services begin in August

Pago Pago, AMERICA SAMOA — The American Samoa Power Authority is increasing rates for water, groundwater protection and solid waste and they will be implemented in this month’s bill, taking effect next month, August, according to an ASPA public notice published in yesterday’s Samoa News.

ASPA’s move to increase rates for the three services comes after the third increment hike was put on hold last October by the ASPA board of directors as the territory was already faced with difficult times — including the 5 week temporary closure of StarKist Samoa cannery and the reduction of ASG working hours at the time. (See Samoa News Nov. 25, 2017 edition for details.)

In the public notice yesterday, ASPA on May 28, 2015, filed its new Water, Wastewater and Solid Waste rates in accordance with the American Samoa Administrative Procedures Act with the first incremental increase going into effect June 20, 2015. The 2nd incremental increase went into effect Nov. 21, 2016 bill, but it was only for Wastewater and Solid Waste Services.

The 3rd incremental increase was supposed to be implemented October 1, 2017, but was put on hold by the ASPA Board of Directors until a later time, according to ASPA, noting that after a recent review by the Board, the 3rd incremental increase will be implemented in the July 2018 bill, which will take effect August 2018, following a nine-month hold.

Rates will change for Water, Groundwater Protection, and Solid Waste only; ASPA stresses that no changes are scheduled for electric rates at this time.

According to the new rates, the base charge for residential rates for water will increase from $14.62 to $14.91 — effective in next month’s bill, and another hike to $15.21 for the October billing. The “volume rates will also increase from $2.81 to $2.87 for usage of 10,000 or fewer gallons of water with another increase of $2.92 in October."

For wastewater, the base charge for “ground water fee” will increase from $20.05 to $23.56 for residential, effective in July and another increase to $24.97 in October.

For solid waste, home collection will increase to $12.57 from $11.98. There will be no additional hike in October, according to the notice, which also provides different rates for small and large businesses.

During the governor’s cabinet meeting two weeks ago, ASPA’s Wallon Young said that operations at ASPA are okay — it’s “just the financial challenges [that] are still there” and this is the biggest challenge to ASPA, going forward. (See Samoa News July 17th edition for details.)

Details of the new rate hikes were published in yesterday's Samoa News and will also be available on the ASPA website <> as well as ASPA customer service offices at Tafuna and Pago Pago.