Rate increase could be higher than expected

Posted in: News
Oct 24, 2013 - 9:06:27 AM

Marlow City Councilmen flew through their agenda, but once reconvened as the Marlow Municipal Authority (MMA), trustees threw on the brakes as last minute information came to light.
Acting City Administrator Jason McPherson informed the board he received a letter Monday from the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) about increasing their rates to Marlow by an estimated $172,000 annually.
Prior to OMPA’s letter, the MMA had proposed raising rates to generate an estimated $320,000 annually to pay for substation expansion.
OMPA’s increase would reduce funds available for the substation to $150,000.
Utilizing the new information, McPherson presented trustees with a modified rate proposal, but said he did not have time to accurately calculate how much additional money it would generate.
“I don’t think it would make up for all of it, but it would probably be between $80,000 and $90,000,” McPherson said.
The new plan would have increased residential rates, not industrial rates.
“Basically, we have three options,” McPherson told the trustees. “We can go with what we have now in the current proposal. We could table it. The third option is to pass the new proposal.”
Trustees tabled the matter until financial advisors can give them more accurate estimates, but they expect to call a special meeting to act on the rate increase since the new rates are intended to take effect in December.
Earlier, the city council awarded a library audio/visual equipment bid to Audio Visual Designs. The equipment will be purchase with funds donated to the city.
February election
The council passed a resolution calling an election of City Councilman, Ward II, currently held by Mickey Hoy, and the unexpired term of City Councilman, Ward IV. Brian Webb took over for Dr. Wes Walker, who resigned two months ago.
The election will be held Feb. 11, 2014. A run-off, if necessary, would be held Tuesday, April 1. Once elected, the new councilmen would be seated in May.
Public Safety Facility
The council approved a measure authorizing EMS funds to pay for renovation costs at the Public Safety Facility (old city hall).
City attorney Jim Frailey informed McPherson, EMS funds could be used to defray the $300,000 cost, providing relief to the capital improvement fund.
Bid rejected
A bid for a storm siren and controller at 7th and Caddo streets was rejected when it was discovered it did not have the correct power source.
It was the second straight month a bid had been rejected because of compatibility issues.
“We need to make sure we have this done by the time storm season gets here,” councilman Daniel Ross said.
“We are already looking at two different options,” McPherson responded.