12/14/05 — Fremont residents could see increase in electricity rates

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Fremont residents could see increase in electricity rates

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on December 14, 2005 1:46 PM

FREMONT -- The cost of electricity may be going up next year in Fremont.

Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie announced that ElectriCities, the supplier of the town's power, had recommended a 9 percent increase.

The rate hike is "a nice Christmas present," McDuffie said sarcastically near the end of Tuesday night's monthly town board meeting in Town Hall. The rate increase will go into effect Jan. 1.

The town board did not take any action but agreed to discuss the proposed increase during its Jan. 17 meeting.

If there is an increase, McDuffie said it would be reflected in the February bills.

If the board approves a rate increase, it would the second in less than a year. ElectriCities increased the town's rate by 4.7 percent on May 1 because of higher fuel costs. The board approved a 4.7 percent increase in electric rates in the 2005-06 budget. The hike was the first in two years.

McDuffie noted in April that the town had absorbed four previous rate increases that totaled 8.7 percent.

In another matter involving electricity, the board agreed to refund John Joyner, the operator of Joyner's supermarket, $905 for his bill.

Joyner said in a letter that he had installed a generator to reduce the amount of electricity used during peak hours. He said the generator failed and so did the town's equipment because of lightning.

Park donation

The town board accepted an agreement with an anonymous family for a donation to improve the baseball field on the west side of J.R. Peele Park. The renovations will include regrading the infield, replacing fencing and improving safety standards for the field, upgrading playground equipment, remodeling the concession stand and buying an equipment room.

After the improvements are made, the board agreed to name the baseball field in honor of the donors' father.

Other business

In other business, the board:

*Denied a request by a family to amend the animal control ordinance to allow up to four dogs or four cats per household, instead of two of each.

*Listened to a plea from Joyce Petrak, a spokeswoman for a group seeking a new animal shelter in the county.

*Approved McDuffie's tuition for a three-day leadership class at the Institute of Government, if he gets a discount and a scholarship to defray the $3,000 cost.