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  • Last modified 23 days ago (Jan. 5, 2023)

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Hillsboro seeks higher electric rates

Staff writer

Hillsboro electric customers should expect to see a rate increase on their March bills.

City council members voted Tuesday to increase rates 1 cent per kilowatt-hour, or 7.7%. to bolster the amount of money in the city’s utility fund.

The city attorney will draw up an ordinance, which council members will review Jan. 17. If the ordinance is approved, the rate increase will appear on customers’ March bills.

Council members took a first look at the need to raise electric rates Dec. 13. At the time, Hillsboro had only 28 days’ cash on hand in its utility fund.

The new rate will be the first increase since April 2021, when rates were raised after a cold snap two months earlier that caused power rates to zoom upward. Residents now pay 12.95 cents per kWh plus a $12.10 a month base charge.

Kansas Power Pool recommended three rate options, each incorporating an electric rate surcharge imposed by KPP after the cold snap.

Base charges will go from $12.10 per customer to $14.50 for residential and internal customers and to $17 for commercial and out-of-town residential customers.

The rate for electric usage would be 13.95 cents per kWh.

City administrator Matt Stiles said that, in any of the three scenarios proposed by KPP, larger users would be hardest hit.

“People are kind of expecting it,” Stiles said.

Mayor Lou Thurston added: “The longer it takes us to get into a more positive fund balance, the more risk we take in getting there.”

Skiles agreed that dragging out the time the city might take to create a better fund balance meant more risk.

Buying replacement parts for the city’s electric infrastructure has become more difficult and time-consuming, he said.

When Thurston called for a motion, council members paused several seconds before Byron McCarty moved to initiate the 1 cent per kWh increase.

The council voted unanimously to have the city attorney draft an ordinance raising the rate.

Last modified Jan. 5, 2023

 

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