After nearly a year of negations with Southwestern Public Service over an application to increase its base rates by approximately $71.9 million in annual revenue, which represented an increase in base revenue of about 14.2%, the City Council agreed to a much lower rate increase upon the advice of the City’s special counsel and Alliance of Xcel Municipalities (AXM).

In February of 2016 SPS filed their application for the rate increase. At that time the City took action on SPS’s Statement of intent and suspended SPS’s proposed rate increase to allow AXM and its special counsel and rate consultants to review SPS’s application.

After an extensive review by all consultants and direction from the AXM Steering Committee a Settlement was reached on the increase to be allowed SPS. In part this agreement will allow an increase in SPS’ base-rate revenue of $35 million, which is about a 7% increase as compared to SPS’ requested increase of $71.9 million, which was a 14.4% increase.

In basic terms, what this means for a Denver City resident is that Residential rates will increase from $9.50 per kwh to $10 per kwh. For small commercial service the rate will actually decrease from $11.60 to $11.25 and for small school and small municipal service the rate will increase from $11.95 to $13.20. “Small” in this case is not referring to the physical structure of facility but rather the amount of electrical usage from such facility.

For a complete list of the new rates you may contact a representative at City Hall.

During visitor’s portion of the meeting Chief of Police Jack Miller introduced to the Council the newest officer to his staff, Ricardo Gonzales. Officer Gonzales, a long-time Denver City resident and a DCHS graduate, first started working for the police department as a dispatcher and was elevated as a patrolman when former officer Oran Duncan joined the Yoakum County Sheriff’s Office.

Mayor Tommy Hicks, as well as the entire Council, welcomed officer Gonzales to the police force and wished him well in his new job.

During the announcement portion of the meeting Councilman Clinton Bowman offered his personal as well as the Council’s condolences to Councilman Mark Sherman over the recent loss of his brother Robert.

In the only other item on the agenda the Council made some changes to the month to month rental agreement on the City owned trailer that is located at the Denver City airport. This trailer was placed out there several years ago to cut down on vandalism at the airport. Since it was purchased it has been occupied by a Denver City police officer.

The initial agreement did not include how many immediate family members could live in the trailer, the amount of a security and pet deposit, a maintenance agreement, and other items. The Council unanimously approved the rental agreement with the discussed changes.

After a motion from Councilman Robert Hanneman the Council unanimously approved the paying City bills that amounted to $54,324.39 and directing their payment.

Council members Joan Breith, Ronald Weir, Robert Hanneman, Clinton Bowman, Mark Sherman, and Keith Mensch along with Mayor Tommy Hicks were all in attendance.

The next meeting will be held on Monday, January 16 at 7 pm in the City Hall Chambers.