Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Local News

March 5, 2013

Peru council approves rate increase

Controversial ordinance revamped after public outcry

— PERU — Peru City Council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday that increases electricity rates for city and county residents and lowers rates for large power-consuming facilities served by Peru Utilities.

Residents will see a 3.3 percent increase in electricity rates while rates will decrease 7.5 percent for large facilities like Armour-Eckrich Meats, Square D Co. and the Miami Correctional Facility.

Electricity rates also will increase 19 percent for city streetlights, 5 percent for commercial buildings and 7 percent for traffic lights.

The new electricity rates are based on a recent cost-of-service study commissioned by the city. The city hasn’t commissioned such a study in 20 years.

Indianapolis-based Umbaugh & Associates Certified Public Accountants completed the 70-page study in September.

Council originally considered the rate changes in December but tabled the ordinance after council members criticized it for raising rates on residents and for increasing the city’s electricity bill by $25,000 a year.

Peru Utilities General Manager Roger Merriman said in December the new rates don’t produce more money for the utility but only redistribute costs to more fairly reflect how different customer classes use electricity.

“The point is that there are some customers who are paying a lot more than they should, and there are some customers who are paying less than they should,” he said. “This is all about fairness. We’re just presenting the study and saying what the true costs are for customers.”

In December, council formed a three-member committee to look into how to best implement the new rates.

The amended ordinance passed Monday phases in the rate changes over two years, instead of taking full effect upon passing. The rates will now be cut in half the first two years and be fully implemented the third year.

Peru Mayor Jim Walker said phasing in the electric rates will help the city prepare for a larger utility bill. He said the city is working with Peru Utilities to find ways to reduce its electricity consumption.

Walker said the city has already installed power-saving LED lights in all the traffic signals and is currently changing the street lights as well.

Even with a bigger utility bill, Walker said the increased rates won’t have a significant impact on the city’s budget.

“It’s nothing that’s going to cause anybody pain,” he said Tuesday.

Residents who use 1,000 kilowatts of electricity a month will see an increase of about $4 on their bill, Merriman said.

The last rate hike for Peru Utility customers came in 2007, and it increased electricity prices 9 percent across the board for all Peru Utility customers.

Although rates will increase for residents and the city, Merriman said the 7.5 percent decrease on large facilities will serve as an economic development tool in the area.

He said 11 facilities qualify for the lowered electricity rate. Those facilities currently pay a total of $5.8 million for power. The new rate would lower that by $443,000.

“A side benefit of this study is that it helps existing companies’ bottom line and makes Peru more attractive to future business,” he said, noting Armour-Eckrich Meats alone will save $250,000 a year on its utility bill.

Walker said the lower rates will “make Peru a better place to do business,” but noted the real aim of the study was to make sure every customer was paying the proper price for electricity.

“I hate to see the cost go up on anybody, but I think everybody will agree that business and residents should all be paying their fair share,” he said. “It’s all about people paying the fair amount.”

Merriman agreed, adding customers can now know they’re paying the proper rates.

“They can know they’re not subsidizing another customer or being subsidized by other customers,” he said.

Merriman said the utility brings in $21.5 million annually from electricity payments. The company services 95 square miles in Miami County, including parts of Grissom Aeroplex.

Carson Gerber is a Kokomo Tribune reporter. He may be reached at 765-854-6739, or by email at carson.gerber@kokomotribune.com.

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Kokomo Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Former county official pleads guilty to conversion One of two former county officials charged with theft and official misconduct was sentenced last week to a two-year suspended sentence after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges. Darrell Reed, 52, pleaded guilty to two Class A misdemeanor conversio

    July 24, 2014

  • NWS - KT072514 Kokomo School Board - pic Blueprints found during demolition aid Central Middle School remodel

    When workers began the tear down for renovations to the Central Middle School auditorium, they stumbled upon something very important and helpful sifting through the century-old material. Tucked away inside the structure were the original blueprints,

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bona Vista to build new $1.23 million housing development Bona Vista Programs has announced it plans to build a new $1.23 million housing development in downtown Kokomo to accommodate people with disabilities. The new 6,500-square-foot housing unit called Elmwood Trails will be located at 1101 N. Buckeye St

    July 24, 2014

  • Burlington woman charged in May fatal crash A 26-year-old Burlington woman is being accused of driving drunk causing the death of a Frankfort man in a May 2 accident near the Howard-Tipton county line. Howard County sheriff deputies served a warrant on Casie E. Johnson on Wednesday charging he

    July 24, 2014

  • Lake Co. judge strikes down Indiana right-to-work INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A Lake County judge struck down Indiana's right-to-work ban on certain union fees in a second legal blow to the contentious law passed in 2012. Lake County Circuit Court Judge George Paras determined the law violates the state co

    July 24, 2014

  • Kokomo man charged with sexual misconduct with a minor Kokomo police arrested a 20-year-old man Tuesday afternoon on a warrant charging him with sexual misconduct with a minor involving a 14-year-old girl.Officers arrested Malachi Ely at 4:38 p.m. at his residence in the 500 block of South Goyer Road on

    July 24, 2014

  • Howard County rejected for state preschool pilot Howard County is not among the five counties selected for Indiana’s new preschool voucher pilot.Gov. Mike Pence announced Tuesday that Allen, Jackson, Lake, Marion and Vanderburgh counties will roll out the program in 2015. Eighteen counties, includi

    July 24, 2014

  • Peru dam Who should fix the dams? PERU — Who has jurisdiction over six dams located in the Hidden Hills housing addition just north of Peru, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources or the people who own the land?It’s a question with a lot riding on it — more than $1.5 million, in

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kokomo Airport runway extension nearing completion After more than a decade of waiting, a runway extension project that will allow the Kokomo Municipal Airport to attract new business will soon be prepared for takeoff.The project, which will extend the airport’s main runway from 5,200 feet to 6,000 f

    July 24, 2014

  • NWS KT 072314 Serena Youth Center pic Serena Youth Center to offer safe haven for young women

    Young women in Kokomo in need of security and additional support will soon have a new place to call home as plans move forward to open the Serena Youth Center. On Tuesday, Coordinated Assistance Ministries Inc. closed on a property for the youth cent

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries