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      Liberty Utilities holds public hearing

      Attendance was low at the public hearing held by Liberty Utilities.

      The company and the Missouri Public Service Commission held the hearing. This is the fourth public hearing that has been held around the Show-Me-State regarding a rate increase. The current rate for Liberty Utilities customers in North East Missouri is $22.68 a month. The proposed increase will change that to $32.87. Both residential and business customers would be affected by the increase. That increase would help to cover investments that the company has already made.

      "We as a company have gone out and made investments and put into the ground new items like pipes, meters, regulator stations, to ensure that we have safe, reliable service here in the Kirksville and all of our state areas that we serve customers for," said Chris Kryger, of Liberty Utilities.

      The base rates for Liberty Utilities was last increased in September of 2010. The utility company and the Public Service Commission are now in the process of putting together customer testimonies from the hearings before making a decision.