Randall to raise its utility rates for 2012

By Tina Snell, Staff Writer

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The Randall City Council voted to raise its utility rates for 2012. The Utility Board, comprised of Councilman Charlie Andres and City Manager Jerry Peterschick, made the recommendation to the Council at its Wednesday meeting.

The base rate of the electric, sewer and water funds would increase by 50 cents, while the gas rate would increase by five cents.

The electric rate will increase to $11 on its base rate from $10.50, a 4.8 percent increase. The base rate is for up to 40 kilowatts of usage. The next 360 kilowatts used would be charged at .0876 cents per kilowatt (5 percent increase). If usage exceeds 400 kilowatts, the charge will now be .0836 cents from .0796 cents, a 5 percent increase.

“We received a rate increase from our supplier, Minnesota Power, of about 5 percent,” said Peterschick. He said the city pays the company an average $30,000 a month for electricity.

Sewer base rates will increase 3.4 percent from $14 to $14.50. The price per 1,000 gallons has increased from $4.16 to $4.37, a 5 percent increase.

Peterschick said the sewer rates have always been lower than requested by their loan terms. It asks the city to put away money for future repairs and replacement costs so a future loan is not needed.

“Our annual audit has shown the city breaks even in most years in its sewer fund,” said Peterschick.

Randall’s base rate for water will increase about 4.5 percent, from $11 to $11.50 for the first 1,000 gallons. For the next 8,000 gallons, the rate increases from $1.75 to $1.84 per 1,000 gallons, a 5.1 percent increase. Anything over the first 9,000 gallons will be charged at $2.18, a 4.8 percent increase from $2.08.

Peterschick said the rates for water increase the more one uses to encourage conservation. The state of Minnesota estimates an average person uses about 1,500 gallons per month.

“The cost of getting water to our residents has increased. We are passing that increase on to them,” he said.

Gas prices were increased 20 percent to 30 cents per hundred cubic feet. Residents are charged that amount over and above the cost from Viking Gas.

Randall City Council briefs

Other business conducted by the Randall City Council Wednesday night included:

• Keeping the city appointments for 2012 the same except for Police Chief Chuck Strack replacing Bill Vanden Avond on the Civil Defense Board, adding the Bank of Zumbrota to the city’s depository list, changing the Utility Board members to Councilmen Jerry Peterschick, Jerry Carter and Charlie Andres, and removing John Cole and Bob Sanders from the Roads, Streets and Bridge Board with no replacements;

• Voting to donate $4,000 to Little Falls Community Services;

• Allowing the Randall Cushing Lions to obtain an off-premise gambling license for the Vision Randall raffle to be held at the Randall VFW Tuesday, Jan. 31;

• Tabling a vote to obtain IT services for the city;

• Approving a permit for the Randall VFW’s Veterans Memorial;

• Discussing delinquent utility accounts. Notices were sent out Friday, and if not paid by the 30th of the month, residents will have their utilities shut off. The Council stressed that residents were not to contact the city manager about making payment plans, but are to contact City Hall to make an appointment with the Utility Board. City Recorder Angee Magee said residents have the option to sign up for the cold weather rule each month;

• Appointing both Peterschick and Magee to perform electronic fund transfers for the city; and

• Stipulating that any out-of-state travel by the Council will not be reimbursed by the city.

The next City Council meeting will be held at the Randall Fire Hall Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m.