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Forum staff reports, Published January 12 2011

Moorhead utility OKs electric rate increase

The Moorhead Public Service Commission on Tuesday approved a 3 percent increase in electrical rates effective Feb. 1.

There will be no increase in water rates for 2011.

The boost in electrical rates will cost the average MPS customer about $2.72 more a month, based on power use of 1,000 kilowatt-hours per month.

MPS General Manager Bill Schwandt said the jump was necessary to cover the cost of capital projects, including a new $5.2 million, 10-megawatt generating plant; a new

$7.4 million substation and transmission line; and a some major improvements in technology to increase service reliability

MPS officials had considered a 4 percent boost in electric rates, but settled on 3 percent increase after deciding to delay a land purchase near the city’s water plant, Schwandt said.