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Economic and dam related articles

Hermiston to Study Two-Tier Rate System

by Luke Hegdal
Hermiston Herald, September 8, 2011

Council executive session set Monday

The Hermiston City Council will consider a new, two-tiered power rate system during Monday night's council meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. at City Hall.

The council has also scheduled an executive session.

The move to a new rate system is designed to promote energy conservation and allow the Bonneville Power Administration to keep energy prices low for a majority of customers.

Essentially, BPA has established a "high-water mark" of energy use for all its customer utilities. Energy use that is within that designated level will fall under tier-one price rates. As utilities grow, or use more energy, they will face tier-two prices, based on a national average energy cost.

According to Hermiston Energy Superintendent Russ Dorran, Hermiston shouldn't have to face tier- two rates for several years. The council, however, will have to determine in advance what type of wholesale package the city will purchase in the future.

In addition to considering future water rate structures, the council will look at a resolution authorizing the sale of water bonds.

According to a letter to City Manager Ed Brookshier from Piper Jaffray, a Seattle business bank and asset management firm, the city can save close to $450,000 by redeeming the current water bond and issuing a new bond. The new bond will have the same maturity date in 2024 as the current bond, issued in 2000, and will have a lower interest rate.

The City Council will also consider accepting a parcel of land from Good Shepherd Medical Center, as well approving $1.5 million in expenditures for the month of August.

The council will also:

City council meetings are open to the public and feature a public comment portion. The council meeting will be held at City Hall, 180 N.E. Second St., at 7 pm.

Luke Hegdal
Hermiston to Study Two-Tier Rate System
Hermiston Herald, September 9, 2011

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