City finalizes utility rate changes

Published 6:44 pm Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Troy City Council on Tuesday gave final authorization to a much-anticipated utility rate increase.

The increase takes effect Jan. 1, 2011, although customers won’t see the impact of the rate changes until the February bills are received.

The rate increase, which has been discussed for several months, includes a 4.5 percent increase in the rate per kilowatt hour charged in 2011. Another 4.5 percent increase will be implemented on Jan. 1, 2012. Also, the city will increase the base charge for residential service by $1 per month each year: to $8 per month for 2011 and $9 per month in 2012.

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In addition, the additional charges assessed to demand load users (typically industries or large corporations) to whom the city provides equipment will increase from 4.8 mills to 5.1 mills.

However, Mayor Jimmy Lunsford said last week customers are not likely to see a significant increase in their bills, due to timing issues. Because the cost of fuel has dropped significantly since 2009, Lunsford said that savings should offset the rate increases being implement Jan. 1. “There’s a possibility some utility bills could even be less than they were two years ago for the same period,” he said last week.

In other business, the council on Tuesday:

• Awarded the bill for the landfill closure project to Grady Rawls Construction of Evergreen. The company had submitted a bid of $240,722.50 for the closure work. The mayor said bids ranged from a low of $240,000 to more than $700,000 for the project. The landfill, which has been closed to the public since April, will close entirely at the end of December. Changes in state regulations are prompting the decision to close the landfill. Demolition and construction debris now will be trucked to other landfill locations.

• Agreed to lend its credit and good name to the Pike County Economic Development Corp.’s efforts to refinance approximately $400,000 of outstanding debt. The debt is the remaining portion of financing for the construction of the PCEDC’s building at the industrial park.

• Approved a business license for Maurice Harrell, who is opening Troy Transportation Services, a new taxi service. Harrell will operate the service from his residence in Brantley Mobile Home Park.

• Approved the reappointments of J.W. Gibson and Steve Flowers to four-year terms, effective Jan. 1, 2011, on the Health Care Authority for the City of Troy. The authority acts a funding vehicle for Troy Health and Rehab.

• Approved the reappointment of Brenda Debose to a four-year term effective Jan. 22, 2011, on the Troy Hospital Health Care Authority. This board oversees Troy Regional Medical Center.

• Announced a district-wide cleanup in District 1 during the month of January. Residents should call the public works department and make arrangements for the pick-up..