To the editor:
A recent article in the Lawrence Journal-World stated that Kansas Public Service is seeking a 9.4 percent rate increase "for safety reasons" to "offset the cost of gas line replacements."
We are opposed to this request for a rate increase. Utility customers are at the mercy of utility companies because we must have the utility and it must be purchased through that particular company. It might as well be a monopoly. Companies continue to rake profits from the company and issue dividends to stockholders instead of putting money back into the company for replacing defective equipment and items.
Kansas Public Service's engineering staff should be able to know exactly when those gas lines would have to be replaced and the company should have planned for it instead of sitting on their duffs knowing that, when it became a matter of safety, they could probably get any increase they asked for.
Again, we want to state that we are vehemently opposed to any rate increase proposed by KPS. If utility companies expect the consumer to pick up the maintenance and replacement costs of their company, they should be city-owned and non-profit operated.
Ray L. and Sue D'Armond,