By Ralph Echtinaw
City council approved new electric service rates Tuesday for residents and businesses that use St. Louis electricity.
Increases are 0.86 percent in first year, 0.71 percent in second year and 0.85 percent in third year for residential customers.
Projected annual revenue from residential electricity sales goes from $1,630,265 in the current year to 1,670,008 in the third year.
Commercial customers under the General Service C category get a decrease of 0.53 percent in the first year, 0.48 percent in the second year and 0.51 percent in the third year.
Projected revenue for this category goes from $1,206,524 currently to $1,188,284 in the third year.
These changes were recommended by Utility Financial Solutions of Holland, Mich., which conducted a rate study.
“These rates are cheaper than people would get with Consumers,” said Councilman Tom Reed. “And I think people need to know that.”
City Manager Kurt Giles said Consumers energy rates are 9-13 percent higher than what St. Louis charges.
The new rates take effect in November.
Mayor Jim Kelly abstained from the vote because his house is one of the few in St. Louis that is served by Consumers Energy. “When I bought my house it was in the township,” he said. “And we got it put into the city, but Consumers wouldn’t release me.”
To see the rate report from Utility Financial Solutions, click HERE.
Council voted unanimously to replace pump No. 1 at the Michigan Avenue pump station for $25,514 or less. That was the bid from JETT Pump & Valve of Waterford, Mich. Another bid is expected to arrive this week, and Giles is authorized to award the contract to that bidder if the bid is lower. The pump station is part of the city’s sanitary sewer network. It sits adjacent to the parking lot on the corner of Michigan Avenue and Cheesman.
Councilman Tom Reed brought to the meeting an unsigned letter he received in the mail that gives the location of several eyesores in the city. “It’s a map of homes and all the junk around,” he said. “The addresses are on there.”
Reed turned the letter over to police Sgt. Kristi Forshee, who said she would look into it.
Grand opening of pool
The newly remodeled pool house gets the grand opening treatment at 11 a.m. Thursday. Residents are invited to attend the ribbon cutting.
Four St. Louis residents have turned in petitions with a sufficient number of signatures to be on the ballot in November for election to city council.
They are Bill Leonard, 73, Don Dean, 70, Roger Collison, 69, and this reporter, 60.
The four of us will compete to fill two city council seats that are open because council members Jerry Church and Melissa Allen are not seeking re-election.
Mayor James C. Kelly is on the ballot, too, but running unopposed.
All candidates are invited to write an article for the Sentinel to introduce themselves to voters.
There were no absences on the council. Council candidates Leonard, Collison and this reporter were present. Donald Dean was not.