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Granite Falls OKs electric rate hike

GRANITE FALLS -- Electric rates will rise after Granite Falls City Council members approved new rates for the municipal utility following a public hearing Monday evening.

Council members approved a two-step increase. It will raise rates 4 percent effective with bills due July 15 and another 4 percent with bills due Jan. 15, 2012, according to City Manager Bill Lavin.

The new rates were recommended in a study completed for the city by Tim Miller with Missouri River Energy Services. The city's cost for purchasing electricity has been rising, and the new rates reflect the increase.

The new rates are also set to raise an estimated $200,000 for the acquisition of an automatic electrical meter reading system. The city will be installing new, automated reading systems for water and electric meters.

In other business, council members approved soliciting proposals for general obligation bonds and ordered that bids be called for an estimated $2.8 million sanitary sewer improvement project. Bids are to be opened June 16 and presented to council members on June 20.