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While the Commission is not fixing a value in this case, the evidence did disclose the fact that the value of the property is in excess of the total capitalization of $35,000, which includes both preferred and common stock.
The Commission being duly advised in the premises is of the opinion that the prayer of petitioner should be granted, and it will be so ordered.
It is, therefore, ordered by the Public Service Commission of Indiana, That the Batesville Telephone Company be, and it is hereby, authorized to issue and sell at not less than par $10,000 preferred stock, bearing interest at the rate of 7 per cent. per annum, payable semi-annually, and $10,000 common stock.
It is further ordered, That before issuing any of the above securities, petitioner, the Batesville Telephone Company, shall pay to the Treasurer of State through the secretary of this Commission the sum of $30.00, the fee for the issuance of such securities as prescribed in Section 96 of the Public Service Commission Act.
January 4, 1924.
In re PETITION OF THE TERHUNE COOPERATIVE TELEPHONE
COMPANY FOR AUTHORITY TO INCREASE RATES.
Decided January 22, 1924.
OPINION AND ORDER. On October 20, 1923, the Terhune Cooperative Telephone Company filed with the Commission, a petition, alleging, in substance, that petitioner is a corporation engaged in the business of furnishing telephone service to the residents of Terhune, and vicinity; that it now has in effect a rate of $8.00 per year, per telephone; that this rate is insufficient and inadequate and that it desires authority from [1. the Commission to increase the rate to $10.00 per year, per telephone.
After due notice to interested parties, a hearing was held at Sheridan, Indiana, on January 10, 1924. The evidence introduced at this hearing shows that the petitioner has, at this time, 186 subscribers, of which 141 are stockholders. The stockholders own and maintain their own instruments, and originally constructed the spurs from the main lines of the company to their residences at their own expense. The company is at this time charging a rate of $12.00 per annum to the non-stockholders, these being subscribers who do not furnish their instruments nor maintain them; and a rate of $8.00 per annum to its stockholders. The company owns and maintains some 50 miles of pole line and about 150 miles of wire. Its switchboard is in excellent condition and practically new, but its poles and lines are, to a large extent, in bad condition from having been in use for many years.
An audit prepared by the accounting department of the Commission for the period from January 1, 1921, to November 15, 1923, was introduced in evidence. It appears from this audit that the company has not been using the uniform classification of accounts prescribed by the Commission, but it developed at the hearing that such classification had recently been adopted. According to this audit the total cash receipts of the company in 1921 were $2,305.12, while its operating expense was $2,271.82; in 1922 the receipts were $2,093.21 and the expense, $2,162.78; for the period from January 1, 1923, to November 15, 1923, the cash receipts were $2,020.25 and the operating expense, $2,094.33. At the hearing on January 10, 1924, the figures for the entire year of 1923 were available. From these it appears that the company collected from its subscribers $2,301.10, while its expenses were $2,509.47. It does not appear that the petitioner has been able to set aside anything for depreciation.
Petitioner did not request an increase in the rates pertaining to non-subscribers neither owning nor maintaining
their own instruments, but asked only for an increase of $2.00 per year in the rates charged to stockholders who own and maintain their own instruments and who originally built the spurs from their residences to the main line. Since there are 141 subscribers of the latter class, the requested increase will add $282 per annum to the company's revenues. In view of the figures disclosed by the audit, it seems clear that this amount of additional revenue will not enable the company to pay its operating expenses and also set aside a proper amount for depreciation. When notices of the filing of the petition and of the hear
were sent out by the company, however, the subscribers were informed that this was the only increase contemplated, and it is quite possible that this accounts for the fact that no one appeared at the hearing in order to protest against the hearing.
It is fairly inferable from the evidence introduced at the hearing that the service rendered by the petitioner is of somewhat higher quality than that ordinarily rendered by telephone companies of the same size and character. The company is to be commended for this and also for the fact that the most rigid economy has characterized its operation which has enabled its patrons to receive service at an extremely low rate. The Commission will authorize the company to increase its rates as requested, and while such increase will probably not be sufficient as hereinbefore stated to enable the company to set aside a proper amount for depreciation, it will permit the company to make certain needed repairs and improvements.
The Commission being advised in the premises, is of the opinion, and finds, that the rates of the Terhune Cooperative Telephone Company at Terhune, Indiana, are inadequate and unreasonable; that the rates hereinafter authorized, effective April 1, 1924, are just and reasonable and should be authorized, and it will be so ordered.
It is, therefore, ordered by the Public Service Commission of Indiana, That the Terhune Cooperative Telephone Company be, and it is, authorized and directed on and after
April 1, 1924, to charge and collect the following schedule of rates for telephone service:
SCHEDULE OF RATES.
Per Annum For subscribers who own and maintain their own instruments. $10 00
Payable in four equal quarter y installments, on January
1, April 1, July 1, and October 1, of each year. For subscribers receiving service from company owned instruments.
It is further ordered, That on or before the first day of March, 1924, the Terhune Cooperative Telephone Company shall file with the tariff department of the Commission, and shall post and keep posted in its office in full view of the public during the time such schedule is in effect, a printed or typewritten copy of such schedule of rates as required by law.
It is further ordered, That within twenty days from the receipt of this order, petitioner shall pay to the Treasurer of State, through the secretary of the Commission, the sum of $36.43, expenses incurred by the Commission in the investigation of this cause, as required by Section 74 of the Public Service Commission Act.
January 22, 1924.
Public Utilities Commission.
In re APPLICATION OF THE WILSEY TELEPHONE COMPANY FOR
PERMISSION TO INCREASE RATES.
Docket No. 6000.
Decided January 3, 1924.
Increase in Rates Authorized.
ORDER, Now on this third day of January, 1924, this cause comes on for hearing before the Commission at Herington, Kansas, pursuant to notice published, a proof of which is filed with the Commission; and thereupon the said applicant appeared by W. A. Hanna, its president, and R. C. Tompkins, and the city of Wilsey by Charles Roy, its mayor, and the evidence is introduced before the Commission; and the Commission, having heard the evidence and after having been fully advised in the premises, finds that the applicant is a telephone association and that each subscriber owns and maintains his own line and telephone, both in the city and in the country; that all subscribers except the railroad company have paid $3.00 membership dues into the treasury of the association, and that the association as a whole owns the lines from the telephone central office to the city limits which connect the rural lines with the exchange.
The Commission further finds that heretofore all of the subscribers to said exchange have paid a uniform price of $2.25 per quarter for the service.
The Commission further finds that the said Wilsey Telephone Company owns and operates joint trunk lines between Wilsey and Council Grove, Wilsey and White City, and Wilsey and several other small towns in that vicinity, over which said lines the members of all exchanges have free tolls.