Although there was not a quorum for the regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday afternoon of the Trenton Municipal Utilities Committee, consideration of a proposed increase in electric rates is scheduled for a meeting Monday night of the Trenton City Council.
The Utility Committee is composed of four councilmen. Two of them, Marvin Humphreys and Tim Meinecke, attended the meeting. Also present at City Hall were Mayor Jackie Soptic, Councilman Glen Briggs, and Trenton Municipal Utilities department heads, and city officials.
Six members of the council did attend a Utility committee meeting last month when Toth and Associates presented their study on Trenton electrical rates.
Utility Director Ron Urton believes the consensus is to pursue an increase of two-point-one percent for each of the five years. That’s a total of ten and a half percent, to be phased in over five years. That was one of the options presented in the independent analysis of Trenton’s electric rates. It’s also the preference of Urton:
The electric rate increase would also apply to residential and commercial customers of Trenton Municipal Utilities. Urton explained an increase is needed as expenses are going up, and it will help Trenton Municipal maintain reserves for unexpected events and/or emergencies, plus unknown factors when coal-fired power plants are shut down:
The “winter storm” Urton referred to was the prolonged cold period in February 2021.
Trenton Municipal purchases power as it’s less expensive than producing its own:
Trenton Municipal Utilities Comptroller Rosetta Marsh presented the monthly financial report as of September 30th. It shows the electric department fund has a total increase of $13,757 since the fiscal year began on May 1st. Cash on hand was more than two-point-seven million dollars on September 30th ($2,714,351), but that’s nearly two million dollars ($1,985,300) less than at this time one year ago.