Council approves electric rate hike

Beginning next month, Broken Bow Municipal Utilities customers will see a 7.2 percent rate increase in their electric rate. The increase was approved by the City Council Monday. The request for the customer rate increase was made, explained Electric Superinten-dent Doug Staab, because the city itself has experienced a rate increase from its electricity provider. The rate increase passed on to the customers is the same increase, 7.2 percent, as the city is seeing from its wholesale provider. Staab told the council that, at this time, there is no projected rate increase for the city’s utility customers next year. He also noted that even with the increase the city’s rates are still well below the rates of most competitive sources. The City Council also approved an ordinance creating a water extension district and sanitary sewer extension district of the City of Broken Bow. This extension will allow the city to install sewer and water at Custer Campus, and assess that back to the properties. The Council approved waiving the standard two readings of the ordinance so the work could be done immediately. City Administrator Tony Tolstedt presented some options concerning the site of the old swimming pool at Melham Park. The opinion of the Council was to have the engineers compact the site at 95 percent, in anticipation of any future building that may be done on the site. There has been some discussion of possible uses for the site, including building a community center there. However, at this point, it is still just discussion of options. Council President Scott Spanel said he and councilman Bill Adams have walked off the property and recommended the grade of the site be left at the current berms, rather than the lower grade suggested by the engineers. The rest of the Council agreed, and Tolstedt will contact the engineers with that plan and get those figures, and bring those back to the Council. “It’s not on the agenda, but just to update you the new pool is moving along very quickly,” Tolstedt told the Council. “It is turning out really nice and we expect to meet our regular opening date in May.”