Oelwein Mayor Peggy Sherrets will introduce a resolution at tonight’s City Council proceedings opposing Alliant Energy’s rate increase case that is currently before the Iowa Utilities Board.
The Mayor is asking the Council to stand together in opposition to the proposed rate increase that would raise base residential customer rates nearly 25 percent, more than 18 percent for general service customers, and more than 25 percent for large general service customers.
Sherrets said there are several towns joining in opposition to the proposed increases and she feels Oelwein should be part of it.
In her resolution, Sherrets states Alliant’s rates are already higher than the other investor-owned utility serving Iowa, and also higher than the state averages or municipal electric utilities and rural electric cooperatives in all customer classes.
The Mayor further states the rising rates cause serious hardships for low and moderate income households, as well as those on fixed income, small businesses, industries, nonprofits, educational institutions, and the city of Oelwein. Sherrets added that Alliant’s rapidly rising rates are also a direct hindrance to economic development in northeast Iowa.
The Mayor’s resolution also states the current rate increase represents a significant breach of trust and accountability between Alliant Energy, the city of Oelwein and local customers. Should the Council pass the resolution, the City Administrator will be directed to present the resolution to the Iowa Utilities Board on behalf of the City Council and the city of Oelwein.
The Council is expected to pass the third and final reading changing speed zones along Outer Road from Highway 3 south to 20th Street and Highway 150. Once passed, the ordinance goes into effect, which means drivers will slow to 25 mph from East Charles south 1,721 feet, and 45 mph the remainder of the drive to Highway 150.
City Administrator Dylan Mulfinger will make a recommendation to the Council to suspend rules and call for a first and final reading on an ordinance rezoning property south of Bertch Cabinet in Industrial Park from I-1 Industrial to C-2 Commercial. Mulfinger said there has been no opposition heard regarding this rezoning plan, and he feels immediate passage will help the Oelwein Chamber and Area Development to market the property.
The Council will also consider a resolution accepting $500,000 for the city’s Intermediary Relending Program. The USDA awarded the half-million to the city for use in its IRP to help provide gap financing for businesses that want to start in Oelwein. The city has matched this grant with $175,000 in local option sales tax.
Other items on tonight’s agenda include consideration of a road construction agreement with Fayette County to repair Q Avenue. The city’s portion is $123,520.87 to be paid in $24,704.17 payments each year for five years. The city would use capital funds from road user tax and put off equipment purchases.
Reports and Council updates conclude the regular session, which gets underway at 6 p.m. in City Hall. A work session on Outer Road/Sixth Street NE, and Sixth Avenue SW/Q Avenue street assessments will follow.