New Contract May Raise Utilities
Columbia Water and Light recently signed a three year contract with Ameren Energy Services to continue using its services. The new contract includes a $13 million increase that the city needs to make up by raising costs to consumers. Columbia Water and Light hired an independent consultant company to suggest bill increases. The company recommends bill increases for both water and electric. The plan includes a 9 percent increase for electric in 2008 and subsequent increases thereafter. As for water, the company recommends an 8 percent increase each year for the next three years. The city says the increase is due to a simple increase in the cost of electric power.
"These new cost increases are due to the impact of the new marketplace, and the new costs for power which are going up," said Dan Dasho, Water and Light Director. "Additionally in the future we expect the costs to continue to go up as new powerplants, which are more expensive than the power plants we have online today, are added to the system. And we're going to have to pay as well."
Columbia Water and Light will address the city council with the plan in August. Increases in utility bills would go into effect in 2008 if approved by the council.