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Preston utility rates remain competitive despite increase

Fri, Dec 7th, 2012
Posted in Preston Government

Preston, Minn – The commission of the Preston Public Utilities (PPU) approved a five percent increase in electric, water and sewer charges for all residential, commercial and industrial customers. The increase will take effect January 1, 2013.

The average residential customer will see an increase in their utility bill of $4.20* per month. The last electric rate increase took place in January of 2009. The last water rate increase took place in January of 2012. The last sewer rate increase took place in January of 2005.

“Even after this increase, Preston’s utility rates will remain near the very bottom when compared with other municipal utilities,” said Joe Hoffman, PPU General Manager, citing a recent rate survey.

The primary reason for the rate increase is planned capital expenditures for upgrades to the electric, water and sewer infrastructures. The Preston City Council is considering a significant street improvement project in 2014 and the Utility will likely replace the underlying water and sewer lines as part of that project.

“Sound financial planning has allowed the Utility to use rate stabilization reserves to keep rate increases at a minimum over the last decade,” said Hoffman, “however, Preston, like many communities, is facing the need for significant investments in water and sewer infrastructures.”

*Average PPU residential customer use is billed for 619kw of electricity and 2,777 gallons of water/sewer usage per month based on billing statistics for the twelve months preceding October 31, 2012.

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