Ashland may raise power rates

ASHLAND — The City Council will consider tonight whether to raise electric rates by 4 percent to offset increases in wholesale prices.

The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in the Civic Center Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

The increase, which would take effect in November, would cost a typical family of four living in a 1980s home an extra $4.61 each month, city staff estimated. Larger increases of 5 to 6 percent could be needed in the next fiscal year, according to city staff.

The Bonneville Power Administration, which sells wholesale power to the Ashland Electric Department, plans to raise wholesale electricity rates by 7.5 percent on Oct. 1, city staff said.

City staff are also recommending a 3 percent increase in both transportation utility fees and storm drainage fees. The combined increases would take effect on Nov. 1 and cost a homeowner 35 cents more each month.

Sewage rate increases will depend on whether Ashland voters decide to renew the city's 5 percent tax on prepared food and beverages in November. The tax helps pay for past improvements to the city's sewage treatment plant.

City staff have warned that sewage rates may have to go up by 60 percent if the tax is not renewed.

Rate increases for water and Internet service have yet to be determined, according to a city staff memo to the council.

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