KAYSVILLE — A utility rate increase of 9.65 percent will go into effect for city residents on Nov. 1.
City councilmembers voted for the electric power rate increase at their Oct. 16 council meeting.
“Electricity costs keep going up and our rates were not going up,” said Councilman Brett Garlick.
He pointed out that 4.03 percent of the increase will bring the rates high enough to cover costs.
Another 3.41 will rebuild the reserve fund that has been drained to cover those costs over the past eight years.
The final 2.21 percent will be transferred to the city’s general fund to cover the cost of adding police officers or other needs.
“I think it’s needed,” said Garlick. “Even with the rate increase, our costs are still lower than Rocky Mountain (Power) and other public utilities.”
Mayor Steve Hiatt estimated power costs for Kaysville residents would be between 1.95 and 11.95 percent lower than the costs of Rocky Mountain Power customers, even after both entities implement rate increases this fall.
“This is not something I’ve taken lightly,” said Councilman Jared Taylor. “But most of it comes down to simple math. I’m disappointed that it’s gotten to this point and support what we’re doing.”
“It’s still a lot cheaper to have the lights on in Kaysville, and when it comes right down to it, it’s something that can be controlled,” he said.
He said he hopes those in need will take advantage of help that is available.
“We live in a community where there are ways those burdens can be helped,” he said, mentioning specifically the Home Energy Assistance Target program.
“It’s important that we keep the infrastructure strong and deliver the service (Kaysville residents) expect,” said Garlick. “We want to make sure there are no blackouts and power outages.”
Councilmembers Mark Johnson and Gil Miller supported the increase but said that in the future, the council should consider a property tax increase to fund needs such as police officers, rather than transferring funds from the power utility.
“I hope we keep an open mind as to when it’s appropriate to raise property taxes,” said Miller. “Even little old Kaysville has been affected by inflation.”
He said there is a compelling need for more police officers, especially since Kaysville has so many schools.
If a property tax increase is needed to keep funding for officers, he said, “people will get that.”