The Richland City Council tonight will talk about how to handle future rate increases needed to meet the cost of service.
On the recommendation of Bob Hammond, the city's Energy Services director, the council Jan. 4 gave approval to raising user rates for the city's electric utility by 5 percent for residential customers and 10 percent for all others.
That would amount to a $5 increase on a $100 residential bill or a $10 increase on a $100 bill for all other customers.
Hammond in a memo Jan. 12 suggested an alternate plan that would delay rate increases until at least September.
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Hammond has told the council that an increase is needed to catch up to the cost of providing service, especially as the Bonneville Power Administration moves to a new rate system affecting the city.
Otherwise, the electric utility could be looking at a $5 million revenue deficit for 2012.
The city will use existing cash to cover expenses not covered by existing rates while the Utility Advisory Committee and city staffer work on a new rate plan.
The council meets for a workshop at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall, 505 Swift Blvd. No public comment will be taken.