• Last modified 1161 days ago (April 8, 2021)


Marion approves open-end surcharge for power pool

Marion approves open-end surcharge for power pool

Staff writer

The city council unanimously passed Monday a fuel adjustment charge to include a surcharge that will pay off the city’s $396,000 debt to the Kansas Power Pool.

The KPP assessed cities a penny per kilowatt hour surcharge to cover the costs of purchasing energy during February’s cold snap.

The amendment did not name a dollar amount for the surcharge or change the base rate for electrical services, something that council member Ruth Herbel questioned.

“I have a hard time trying to vote for this if I don’t understand what they passed,” she said. “The other cities tell me it is 1 cent per kilowat-hour.”

City administrator Roger Holter told Herbel that was correct, all cities in the pool will pay 1 KWk.

“My question is if it’s going to be 1 cent, why don’t we have it in the ordinance so that six months down the road, we can look back and see what we had?” she asked.

Holter said he was asking for flexibility in assessing the surcharge so he is free to negotiate purchases and hold down costs for the city’s customers.

“That way I can save on my wholesale purchases to offset this expense,” he said. “If you desire to go that way it will lock it in and that will be what you have seen in other cities, where we just pass the cost on through to our customers.”

Herbel said the only problem she had is that customers wouldn’t know what they are getting charged for.

Holter told Herbel that the city was not able to place more lines on a bill.

“Honestly, every time from a staff perspective, you add more lines to a utility bill. You’re customers are more confused,” he said.

Last modified April 8, 2021