Officials with Atlantic Municipal Utilities are proposing an electric and water rate increase. Councilman Dana Halder reported to the City Council Wednesday night he sat in on the AMU Board meeting on November 18th. Halder says the board reviewed the budget and set Dec. 2nd at 5:30-p.m. as the date and time for a public hearing on the proposed 5-percent increase each for the water and electric. The meeting will be held in the basement meeting room in the AMU building. If approved, it would be 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. AMU General Manager Steve Tjepkes has said the proposed 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 reports also that the proposed increase in Atlantic’s water rates 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.
If approved, 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. Councilman Halder reports also, the AMU Board discussed and approved a resolution pertaining to a metering charge.Halder says AMU has the ability to receive by radio waves the meter reading. If residents don’t allow the utility to install the new meters, after a certain amount of time there will be a $25 charge.