By Jan Rahn
Grant City Council members unanimously approved a 4 percent electric rate increase effective Dec. 1.
The increase was presented by Glenn Taubenheim, as a recommendation by the Board of Public Works on which he serves as chairman.
Taubenheim outlines three reasons why the board felt an increase in electric rates is necessary. He said Midwest’s maintenance contract increased 3.9 percent, hydropower from MEAN (Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska) is predicted to increase as much as 11 percent, and Nebraska Public Power is raising is raising transmission charges on lines a substation by 35.8 percent.
“We have no option,” said Taubenheim, after explaining why the board recommends a 4 percent raise. The electric fund is in the black but there is no extra money, he said.
In addition to the increase toward the end of the year, the City of Grant is probably facing another increase in the spring.
The last item on the agenda under new business was discussion on annexation.
City Superintendent Tyson McGreer, Mayor Mike Wyatt, and council members Darrell Pierce, Tim Pofahl, Denny Hansen and Wayne Pick spent the remainder of the meeting talking about the pros and cons of expanding city limits to include homes and businesses east and west along Highway 23, the Mastre addition on the northwest corner of town, and on the north edge.
Discussion included what affect annexing would have on the population increase, tax dollars, state aid, and water allocation.
In Other Business
• Councilman Pick reported to council that the cemetery board’s recommendation was for the city to cease litigation against Marvin Stumpf who broke cemetery rules by erecting a stone that is out of compliance after being told he could not do so. Only two members remain on the cemetery board. Four others recently resigned, citing lack of backing by council to enforce rules in place at the cemetery. A trial date with City of Grant vs Marvin Stumpf is set for Oct. 21 at 9 a.m. in Perkins County Court.
• A resolution was passed granting an economic development loan request to Carla Taylor doing business as Locker Room.
• Council approved a resolution for a stop sign to be erected at the corner of 7th and Sherman. The intersection is a concern because it’s a high traffic area across from the high school.
• Water/lotto and Perkins County Sheriff’s Office reports were presented to council members.
• Water Usage: During the month of September there were 17,172,300 gallons of water used which is a decrease of 9,427,290 gallons compared to August’s usage of 26,599,590 gallons. September’s usage was also a 275,000 gallon decrease from the previous September.
• Lotto: Sales of lotto at DJ’s Bar and Grill totaled $13,627 with a payout of $9,885, leaving a net of $3,742.