Albert Rukwaro
Special to The Gardner News
Gardner City Council adopted an ordinance revising the electric rates of the Gardner Municipal Code during a meeting Jan 22.
The changes are in line with recommendations of a recent study conducted by city staff and consultants from Burns and McDonnell.
Under the revised ordinance, residential electric customers will be charged a $6.72 service charge plus $0.1038 energy charge per kilowatt hour. Residential customers will not pay a demand charge.
The ordinance stipulates that power supplied to all buildings owned by the USD 231 will attract an $11.13 service charge, a $12.22 demand charge and $0.0413 energy charge per kilowatt hour.
All city-owned buildings will be charged a $0.0565 energy charge per kilowatt hour. The city will not be billed a service or a demand charge.
Under the ordinance, commercial customers have been classified as small, medium and large depending on usage or, if newly established, at the discretion of city staff depending upon historical usage data at the property.
Small commercial customers whose peak kilowatt demand is less that 25 kW will be charged a $10.00 service charge, $9.75 demand charge and an energy charge of $0.0645 per kilowatt hour.
Medium commercial customers, defined as customers whose peak kW demand exceeds 25 kW but is less than 200 kW each month, will be charged a $20.00 service charge, $9.75 demand charge and an energy charge of $0.0645 per kilowatt hour.
Large commercial customers whose peak demand is in excess of 200 kilowatts each month will attract a $35 service charge, $14.50 demand and an energy charge of $0.0540 per kilowatt hour.
Amy Foster, the city’s business services manager, told the council that the new ordinance will be revenue neutral, and it maintains sustainable funding for improvements identified in the capital improvement element without increasing revenues for the electric fund.
Foster said that Gardner’s electric rates are among the lowest in the region.
During the same meeting, the council adopted changes to the ordinance governing water and wastewater rates and charges.
With the changes, water customers across all classes will see their water rates increase by 3.7 percent beginning in 2020 and each year through to 2030.
The changes follow recommendations by Larkin Lamp Rynearson and include the construction of a two million gallon a day water treatment plant.
The ordinance also codified a one percent rate increase for wastewater customers in the city. The increase will be effective in 2025.
Gonz Garcia, utilities director said that the forecast assumes a two percent population growth rate and a three percent increase in cost of service.
“The forecast goes beyond the 10 year spectrum to consider long term impact of scheduled large projects identified in the capital improvement element and avoids steep rate increases to fund these future projects,” he said.