AMU Board adopts resolutions approving power/water rate increases


December 3rd, 2013 by Ric Hanson

Officials with Atlantic Municipal Utilities have approved resolutions adopting increased electric and water rate fees. The action came during the AMU Board of Trustee’s meeting Monday night. AMU General Manager Steve Tjepkes said during their meeting on Nov. 18th, the AMU Board tentatively approved the increases, and a public hearing was needed prior to final action being taken on putting the new rates into effect. Notices were published in the local paper explaining the rate change and reasons for it.

It’s the second consecutive year for rate increases from AMU.  Last year, electric rates went up 12-percent, and the water rate was increased 4-percent. The Board Monday approved a 5-percent across the board increase (residential and commercial) in electric rates. Tjepkes said the electric rate increase is due to EPA regulations for the coal-fired power plant in Council Bluffs, from which AMU receives additional energy. AMU’s cost related to the Council Bluffs plant improvements and EPA compliance will amount to $500-thousand next year, and about $1.2-million in 2015.

Tjepkes said there will also be a 5-percent across the board increase in water rates. The increase in Atlantic’s water rates he said, is driven by changes that require parts of the system to be lead-free, which entails the removal of some parts and replacement of those items with non-lead parts. Those costs are estimated at 30-to 35-thousand dollars.

There were no written or public comments during the meeting with regard to the increases.The Board’s action means the average household in Atlantic would see a One-dollar increase in their water bill each month, while the electric bill would increase two-to three-dollars per month. In other business, the AMU Board approved a resolution adopting their Calendar Year 2014 Budget.