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NEWBERRY ‒ The Newberry City Commission has tentatively approved an increase in electric utility service rates. Commissioners conducted a legislative public hearing on first reading of an ordinance to amend and revise sections of the City’s Code of Ordinances.

During the five budget workshops held by Newberry, rate changes were proposed to modify electric rate charges. The changes were authorized by Commissioners at that time and were presented and approved during the Sept. 14 public hearing.

Director of Finance and Administration Dallas Lee presented Ordinance No. 2020-24 and reminded the Commissioners that the City establishes electric rates to generate revenue that will meet its operating expenses. Each year staff members evaluate utility rates at budget time to determine whether they need adjusting.

“Staff proposes an increase in its water and wastewater rates to ensure the funds operate in a self-sustaining manner,” Lee said.

“Residential electric rates were adjusted by 1.00 percent on the customer charge, for an average residential impact of $1 per month. Non-residential rates are proposed to be adjusted in a similar fashion,” said Lee.

Lee pointed out that even after the proposed rate changes the City will still offer competitive rates when compared to other utilities.

A second and final reading of the proposed increases will take place at the Sept. 28 Commission meeting.

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