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Kahoka Council Compares Electric Rates At Hearing

By Mike Scott

“Nobody wants to pay higher electric rates,” said Kahoka Mayor Herb Butler.  “But we’re really not going to have any choice.”
The Kahoka Board of Aldermen held a public hearing last Monday night to discuss a proposed electric rate increase.  The council is looking at the action because the current 10-year wholesale contract with Ameren UE will expire at the end of 2008.  Electric costs have increased dramatically in recent years.
‘The city council then had the good sense to and vision to negotiate a 10-year contract,” said Butler. “We’re working on the best deal we can get for the city.” 
Toward that goal, the city has partnered with the Missouri Joint Municipal Electric Utility Commission (MJMEUC) and the Prairie States Energy Campus,  currently under construction in Lively Grove, Illinois, to purchase electricity from that generation plant at a low fixed rate.  That plant owns an adjacent coal mine, allowing long-term fixed rates.  Units One and Two of that plant are expected online in 2011 or 2012.
Electric Generation Supervisor John Williams presented a brief review of past rates outlined the proposed new rates.  Under the plan, Kahoka would change from a monthly charge of $8.00, plus $0.0674 for the first 1000 kilowatts, to a monthly $12.00 charge plus $0.07 for the first 1500 kilowatts.  An average Kahoka home uses about 1300 kilowatts per month, and the increase will cost about $12 per month more.
A final decision on the rates will be made at the November 12 meeting of the Board of Aldermen.
The board also discussed the bill for the wall repair on the north side of the building.  The repair cost of $3300 exceeded the $3000 the council had approved.  Alderman Jerry Webber made a motion to pay the additional $300, but the motion was not seconded.  Alderman Larry Young made a motion to pay the $3000 and ask the landowner to pay the $300 difference.  That was seconded by Alderman Curtis Mack, and passed on a 2-1 vote, with Webber voting “nay” and Alderman Jeff Wood abstaining.
In other business, the council:
–Accepted an agreement with the City of Revere to use Kahoka’s animal control vehicle and incinerator.
–Discussed pricing of various size PVC pipe for the re-burial of the time capsule.  Prices range from less than $500 to more than $1000.
–Approved an amendment to  insert a different code number into the the Verizon Wireless settlement previously approved in October.
–Discussed the Farmer’s Market.  After a short discussion of sales tax laws, there was general consent from the board not to have the police check the farmers’ market vendors.
–Approved Aaron Daw’s use of the water truck to travel to classes in Macon.  Kevin Eagle will drive the former police car to Wayland to check the wells and water treatment