Residents of Forest City could possibly see a slight increase in their utility rates beginning June 15.
During the Monday, April 15 meet of the Forest City City Council, first readings of four ordinances that would slightly increase the utility rates were held.
The electric rates would be increased by 2 percent. Residential customers would see an increase from $6.75 to $6.89 per meter and an increase in energy charge from 10.1 cents per kilowatt-hour to 10.3 cents per kWh. Small commercial services, large commercial services, industrial services, street lighting and public authorities will each see a similar increase in their rates.
For solid waste, water and sewer rates, each would see a 1.5 percent increase in rates. The residential sanitation fee would rise from $4.70 to $5.25, the recycling fee would remain the same and the blue trash bags rates would also increase in price: for 15 to 19-gallon bags, the price would increase from $1.27 to $1.50 per bag, and for 33-gallon bags, the price would go from $1.59 to $2.00 per bag.
Water rates would rise, with the base fee increasing from $11.33 to $11.50, the usage rate per 1,000 gallons going from $2.90 to $2.95 and the capital rental equipment reserve charge remaining the same.
The base fee for the sanitary sewer system would increase from $3.78 to $3.84 with the additional rates per 1,000 gallons of water used increasing from $6.92 to $7.03. The capital equipment reserve charge would remain at $6.72 per month.
City administrator Barb Smith said the city expected to have a 3 to 4 percent increase in electrical, but with the savings the city has had this year from projects coming in under budget it is only a 2 percent increase.
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Councilman Ron Holland said compared to what other cities like Thompson are experiencing with power outages, Forest City is doing well keeping everything covered with a small increase.
“I think a small increase should be welcomed by most of the citizens, looking at what we’re doing and the great benefit we’re having,” he said.
According to Smith, it’s been a couple years since the last increase in these rates and rather than have large rate increases after having the rates be the same after five or six years, the city does these small increases every couple of years.
“Smaller increases are easier for everybody to budget for than a huge increase,” Smith said.
The Council also approved the letter of intent regarding a Cobblestone Motel in Forest City, Iowa.
According to the letter, the motel should be completed by May 15, 2020, or eight months after the construction starts.
The motel is expected to have 41 rooms, a complimentary breakfast area, a meeting room, a pool and an entrance in the middle of the building, not at the end. The motel will not have a restaurant.