KAYSVILLE – Growth and more expensive sources of power are necessitating a look at raising rates, here.
“Power operations have not covered operating costs for two or three years,” said City Manager John Thacker Monday.
“We’ve been drawing down reserves and need to respond to that,” he said.
“The current budget shows a shortfall of about $400,000,” said City Finance Director Dean Story. He noted that’s after “we made reductions where we think they were possible.
“We feel like we need to address it fairly soon, in the range of 5 or 6 percent,” he said, although that amount has not been determined.
“With our current budget we did not increase rates,” Thacker said, “but indicated (to the city council) that we had to look at it closely. We’ve got to do something with that operating deficit.”
Like Bountiful and other public power city-related entities, Kaysville Power used to contribute from excess funds to operations of the city, Thacker said. “We have not used it (power funds) recently for projects as we had in the past.”
Story indicated transfers from power funds had not been made for at least eight years.
The 2010 census placed the city’s population at 27,300, with that growth cited as one reason for the need to look at a power rate hike.
“We have never yet used it (power funds transfer) for day-to-day operations,” Thacker said.
The last rate increase was in May 2007, Story said.
That said, Thacker said the city’s current power rates are “very competitive, comparable” to Rocky Mountain Power, although with different category breakdowns.
With a look to keeping the city’s power system supply vibrant, it is among participates in a giant wind farm project in Southeastern Idaho.
The Horse Butte Wind Project, about 15 miles east of Idaho Falls, will provide an additional power source for 24 municipal power systems, including Kaysville Power, material provided says.
“We’re going to mix it into our portfolio,” said Kaysville Power Supervisor Matt Love. “We’ll supplement” with the wind power generation, mostly accessed during high power demand periods, such as in the heat of summer.
The city already receives some wind power from Pleasant Valley, near Evanston, Wyo.
The city receives power from a variety of sources, including the coal fired Intermountain Power Plant in Delta, San Juan Generating Station and Hunter plants. In addition, natural gas generation from the Nebo Plant near Payson is also included in the mix.
“We’re trying to be proactive, ahead of the game,” Love said of this latest Idaho renewable energy agreement.