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(Jefferson City) (AP) – The Missouri Senate has rejected a bill that would have allowed additional water and sewer companies to seek permission for surcharges to build new infrastructure.

Currently, only water companies in St. Louis County can impose such a surcharge between formal rate cases. Other water companies must get approval for a rate increase from the state Public Service Commission.

The legislation defeated by a 17-16 vote Tuesday would have allowed certain water companies across the state to levy the surcharge between cases. The surcharge could have been used for replacement lines and meters in addition to energy efficiency initiatives.

Supporters said the process worked in St. Louis County and should be opened up to other companies. Opponents said it would have raised utility rates without proper oversight.

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