Electric rate study sparks debate among Trenton city officials

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While no action was taken, considerable discussion occurred during a meeting on Tuesday where city officials and council members reviewed an electric rate study. Toth and Associates of Springfield prepared the study but made no recommendations. Two consultants, via Zoom, presented their study, which offered three recommendations. Two of them involve rate increases of 10.6 percent—either in one year or spread out over five years. (The other is no increase in rates.)

Trenton Municipal Utility Director Ron Urton said he leans toward the long-term plan, allowing for smaller increases in electric rates each of the five years.

Utility committee members attending the meeting were Duane Urich, John Dolan, Marvin Humphrey, and Tim Meinecke. They were joined by Councilmen David Mlika and Glen Briggs. Also present, besides Urton, were TMU department heads, Mayor Jackie Soptic, and City Clerk Cindy Simpson. The committee and city officials will continue to review the electric rate study. No timetable was announced for when the committee and/or the city council will announce electric rates.

The last adjustment in electric base rates was approved by the city council in July 2021 and went into effect with September usage. The base or “fixed” rate is the charge for a customer to have a meter. It was a $4 increase in the residential base.

In May 2019, a reduction in electric rates occurred when the council combined the previously separate summer and winter rates and went with the lower winter rates year-round.

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