Gallatin Board of Aldermen approve setting electric rates

Gallatin City Hall

The Gallatin Board of Aldermen this week approved an ordinance and resolution regarding the setting of electric rates. City Clerk Hattie Rains reports the ordinance authorized the city, going forward, to use a resolution instead of an ordinance to set electric rates. The resolution changed the electric rates for citizens and businesses. The rates will become effective as of July 1st dated utility bills.

The resolution states that residential rates will be 13.69 cents per kilowatt per hour consumed for 1,000 or less kilowatts per hour and 12.69 cents per kilowatt per hour for over 1,000. Each resident will also be charged a monthly cost of service fee of $20.

Commercial electric rate A for small commercial, churches, and clubs will be 13.69 cents per kilowatt per hour for 1,000 or less kilowatts per hour and 13.44 cents per kilowatt per hour for over 1,000. Each commercial A user will also be charged a monthly cost of service fee of $30.

Commercial electric rate B for large commercial and schools will be 12.71 cents per kilowatt per hour for 5,000 or less kilowatts per hour and 12.61 per kilowatt per hour for over 5,000. Each commercial B user will be charged a monthly cost of service fee of $50.

Customers will be charged monthly fees for security lights. The fees are $7.10 for 100 and 175 watt, $12 for 250 and 400 watt, and $30.50 for 1500 watt.

The resolution says the City of Gallatin will add a wholesale cost adjustment to kilowatt per hour sold when wholesale energy purchases exceed projected costs.

City departments, such as the police, the city hall, the city pool, the city park, water, and wastewater, will pay the cost of energy that they use per department. The cost of the power will be determined by the invoice from the power supplier, and the payment for the energy will be at cost.

Administrator Lance Rains announced the state moved House Bill 15 forward, which will allow the Missouri Public Utility Alliance to utilize $24 million worth of funding to provide zero percent interest loans to its members for up to 60 months to repay the city’s debt of $179,718.34 from February. The board approved transferring the current 24-month loan to a 36-month loan at zero percent interest with MPUA for the February debt.

There was also discussion on the recouping of the debt from Gallatin residents for the higher than normal electric cost in February due to the polar vortex. City Clerk Rains presented the February electric usage billing summary detail by the customer to the board. The board reviewed the average percentage of usage in relation to the additional cost of electricity of $179,718.34 for residential, commercial, and the school district. The electric usage by the City of Gallatin was removed from the repayment calculations and is not required to be repaid by residents.

The board approved a 36-month fee structure recommended by Toth and Associates in the new electric rate structure. The fee will be assessed to each customer with an active electric meter in February. The fee structure includes a residential 36-month fee of $4.39, commercial A/churches/organizations 36-month fee of $3.88, commercial B 36-month fee of $23.98, and Gallatin R-5 School District by 900-meter 36-month fee of $195.36.

The United States Department of Agriculture notified the city the water plant construction project is complete, and some funds could be distributed. The funds included $15,000 for David E. Ross Construction’s pay request, which was already paid by the city on May 10th. Other funds that could be distributed included $5,000 reimbursement to Gallatin for John W. Gillum, CPA LLC invoice June 22nd, 2020, and $217,658.43 applied to a balance owed to the Cedar Rapids Bank lease. The board approved the reimbursement of $5,000 for the audit to be paid to the equipment lease with Cedar Rapids Bank as well as the other released funds of $217,658.43 to Cedar Rapids Bank.

Administrator Rains confirmed with the Department of Natural Resources the emergency management reporting for the water plant is not a requirement for the city since it falls below the population requirement.

A bid was accepted from Terry Implement of $13,900 for a Land Pride 5710 offset wing brush cutter. Gallatin Truck and Tractor also submitted a bid of $16,000.

Public Works Director Mark Morey requested the board approve the purchase of 45 LED security lights to finish the remaining lights that need to be updated. The board approved the purchase of the lights from Fletcher-Reinhardt Company for $5,589.

Morey talked about current problems with Cintas Uniforms. He recommended the board consider switching to Aramark Uniforms, which is another available uniform company in the area. The board approved providing the required 60-day cancellation notification to Cintas and start uniform service with Aramark.

Morey reported crews have filled and cleaned the pool. It is scheduled to open Tuesday (June 1st). Administrator Rains coordinated the lifeguard training to be at the Daviess County Library and Princeton pool this week.

Crews have spread rock and moved bleachers at the lower ball field at the park. Administrator Rains reported the park pond has been stocked, and the park board recommended adding catch and release signs at the pond. Someone has been contacted to make signs.

Morey said the electric department has been completing requested locates for Mid-States fiber. The street department has been filling potholes and smoothing Benton Street. Crews have also mowed grass between rain showers.

Police Chief Mark Richards reported six high grass notices and 10 junk cars were tagged in the past two weeks.

While monitoring for J-turns in the last two weeks, officers conducted 22 traffic stops. Richards notes six stops were for J-turns, but several were for other violations.