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Higher power rates may be on horizon

WORTHINGTON -- By 2011, Worthington residents could see higher electricity bills.

Scott Hain, Worthington Public Utilities general manager, announced at a WPU Water and Light Commission meeting Monday that Missouri River Energy Services, the company that supplies electricity to the city, decided Friday it would switch to seasonal rate pricing.

That means that in seasons with a high demand on energy and little surplus, electricity use will be billed at a higher rate. For example, electricity in summer months, regardless of actual temperature, would be billed at a higher rate than spring and fall months.

"I like the fact that they went seasonal because we can do the same thing here," Hain said.

The rate system will be gradually changed from the current two-tier system, with the seasonal rate system being implemented Jan. 1, 2011.

"The company is going to be sending a price signal that 'you may want to conserve more energy during this time' and we're going to need to send that price signal on to the consumer," said Hain.

In other news, the commission Monday:

  • Received a report on the levels of haloacetic acids and trihalomethane in the public drinking water supply. Haloacetic acid and trihalomethane are contaminants produced by treating water with chlorine. Levels were above the limit but not at a level sufficient to cause concern from the Minnesota Department of Health, Hain said. The city will continue monitoring the supply.
  • Voted to vacate the platted utility easements in Lots 12 and 13, block 3, Okabena Heights.
  • Interim City Administrator Gary Hoffmann announced that the three remaining candidates for the position of city administrator would be interviewed Sept. 25-27.