07/14/05 — Fremont residents to pay more for electricity

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Fremont residents to pay more for electricity

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on July 14, 2005 1:45 PM

FREMONT -- Fremont residents will shoulder a 4.7-percent increase in their electric rates under a budget recently approved by the town's Board of Alderman.

The 2005-06 budget also calls for electric customers to pay an additional penny per kilowatt hour.

It is the first increase in electric rates in two years.

"We had no choice," McDuffie said Wednesday, noting the increased cost to the town of providing electric service.

The town's power supplier, ElectriCities, raised its rates four times recently, totaling 8.7 percent. The town had absorbed the increases without passing them on to customers. McDuffie discussed the need for an increase in the town's electric rate during a special meeting in May.

He noted 25 percent of the town's electricity comes from coal-burning sources and 50 percent from nuclear plants. He said the price of coal has risen, almost as dramatically as that for gasoline.

McDuffie said the town is sending a letter to its customers regarding the increase. It includes tips on how to conserve electricity.

The new budget keeps the town's property tax rate at 65 cents per $100 worth of property. The tax rate was increased last year from 50 cents.

Sewer and water rates did not change.

"We felt we needed more money, but our rates are high already," McDuffie said, "and we just couldn't raise them."

The town board budgeted $38,700 to send to the city of Goldsboro for sewer payments. An extra $31,000 came from projected increase in sewer revenues, and another $7,700 was expected from the sale of surplus property.

The board will be meet Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Town Hall. Among the items on agenda will be the search for a replacement on the town board for the late Sylvester Artis. The town Planning Board also has a vacancy.