DR 97-188
                Lakes Region Water Company, INC.
               Petition for General Rate Increase
              Order Approving Procedural Schedule
                    O R D E R   N O.  22,852
                       February 18, 1998
                                                    On December 17, 1997, Lakes Region Water Company, Inc.
     (Lakes Region or the Petitioner), a public utility serving
     customers in various towns in central New Hampshire, filed with
     the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (Commission) a
     petition for a permanent increase in overall annual revenues of
     $66,765.  With the exception of a proposed 14.99% rate reduction
     at Echo Lake Woods system, the remaining eight systems are
     proposed to see increases ranging from 1.27% to 210.28%. 
       By Order No. 22,835, (January 12, 1998) the Commission
     suspended the proposed rates and scheduled a prehearing
     conference for February 2, 1998.  A duly noticed prehearing
     conference was held on February 2, 1998.  The Commission received
     no requests for intervention.  Staff requested and was granted
     permission at the prehearing conference to meet with
     representatives of Lakes Region following the conference to
     prepare a proposed procedural schedule and submit in writing a
     schedule governing the remainder of the investigation.  On
February 5, 1998, Staff submitted the following proposed
    First Set of Data Requests to Company                  February 13, 1998

    Company Responses to First                             February 27, 1998
     Set of Data Requests    

    Staff 2nd Set of Data Requests to Company                 March 13, 1998

    Company Responses to 2nd Set of Data Requests             March 27, 1998

    Staff Testimony                                           April 10, 1998

    Company Data Requests to Staff                            April 17, 1998

    Staff Responses to Company Data Requests                  April 29, 1998

    Settlement Conference                                        May 5, 1998

    Settlement Agreement submitted to Commission                May 15, 1998

    Hearing on the Merits                                  May 27 & 28, 1998

     Also at the prehearing conference, in accordance with
the Order of Notice, Lakes Region and Staff stated their
positions with regard to the issues in the filing for the record. 
Staff indicated that it would investigate operations and
maintenance expenses, plant additions, metering and the return on
     We find the proposed procedural schedule to be
     reasonable and will, therefore, approve it for the duration of
     the proceeding.     
               Based upon the foregoing, it is hereby 
          ORDERED, that the procedural schedule delineated above
     is APPROVED. 
          By order of the Public Utilities Commission of New
     Hampshire this eighteenth day of February, 1998.
        Douglas L. Patch    Bruce B. Ellsworth        Susan S. Geiger
            Chairman           Commissioner            Commissioner
     Attested by:
     Thomas B. Getz
     Executive Director and Secretary