KAYSVILLE — At a public hearing Oct. 2, Kaysville residents told the city council not to impose a proposed rate increase in electric utilities.
City staff recommended an increase of 9.65 percent in the cost of electricity for city residents. Of that amount, 4.03 percent would cover increased operating costs, 3.41 percent of the increase would rebuild the fund’s reserve, and 2.21 percent of it would be transferred to the general fund.
The transfer was recommended during budget discussions as a way to meet city needs such as hiring more police officers.
Most council members supported the idea because a smaller increase would be required to raise necessary funds through utility fees than through property taxes, and because those paying for electricity include more entities than those paying property taxes. Those entities, such as churches and schools, also benefit from city services, according to city leaders.
City officials indicated other cities, including Bountiful, transfer funds in a similar manner.
John Thacker, city manager, said the city rates are lower than those charged by neighboring cities that get their electricity from Rocky Mountain Power. Thacker’s home bill would be more than 16 percent higher if he were with Rocky Mountain, he said.
“There is plenty of room to raise the rates, cover our costs and still be very competitive with other providers,” he said.
Several residents complained of the city’s decision over the years to use money from the utility’s reserve funds to purchase land for economic development.
Others spoke of the hardship the increase would cause to those on fixed incomes.
Kaysville residents shouldn’t pay as much for electricity because they don’t get the same quality of service that Rocky Mountain customers receive, according to one resident.
The power regularly goes out for short periods at his home, said Dave McCowan, and in the aftermath of the December wind storm, power wasn’t restored for four days.
“Perhaps it’s time to get out of the electricty business,” he said. “Property taxes should be raised through
the proper channels. Please don’t pass a regressive tax and call it a power increase.”
For more information check out the Oct.4 edition of davis Clipper.