The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) said it is allowing a Monroe County sewer utility to move ahead with a rate increase, but for a lesser amount than originally proposed by the company.

According to an April 23 news release from PUC, the lesser increase was approved in a joint settlement with Penn Estates Utilities, Inc. – Sewer Division (Penn Estates), for its wastewater service. Penn Estates provides service to about 1,600 customers in Stroud and Pocono townships.

The settlement allows an increase in annual rates of 12.85 percent in lieu of the 23.7 percent increase originally requested.

Under the settlement, the total monthly bill for each sewer customer will increase from $41.26 to $46.56. Under the company’s original proposal, the total monthly bill for each sewer customer would have increased to $51.04. The availability rate will increase from $31.05 to $35.04 quarterly, according to PUC.

Additionally, Penn Estates agrees not to file for another general wastewater rate increase for one year after PUC's approval of the settlement.