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The Telegram
  • Mohawk electric rates expected to increase

  • Mohawk municipal electric customers may soon be paying a little more for electricity.

    Village Trustee George Cryer mentioned the plan to increase rates during his report on the Municipal Commission during Monday’s village board meeting.

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  • Mohawk municipal electric customers may soon be paying a little more for electricity.
    Village Trustee George Cryer mentioned the plan to increase rates during his report on the Municipal Commission during Monday’s village board meeting.
    Michael Shedd, co-supervisor of the Electric, Water and Sewer Departments, said in a telephone interview there has been no change in the rates since 1997. In the meantime, the cost of health care, retirement, fuel, supplies and wire have risen to the point that a rate increase has become necessary.
    The proposed 11.5 percent increase would generate $95,000 in additional revenue, he said. The customer charge for residents would go from the current $2.75 up 32 cents to $3.07.
    Electric rates are currently .0291 cents per kilowatt hour from April to November and .0291 cents for the first 750 kilowatt hours and .0480 cents for anything over 750 kilowatt hours from December through March. That would change to .0033 cents and .0055 cents for more than 750 kilowatt hours during the winter months.
    The commission has kept the electric rates stable by “being really conservative,” said Shedd. “Then you don’t have a choice.”
    Shedd explained the Mohawk Municipal Commission is governed by the New York State Public Service Commission. The PSC approves all the rates and charges. He said once the PSC approves the proposed changes, a public hearing will be scheduled to allow village residents to address the village board on the matter before the board votes on the changes.
    He invited residents to visit the Municipal Commission’s website at mohawkmunicipalcommission.org to look for answers to questions they may have. He noted it lists the names of commissioners and employees, explains the electrical rate structure and offers options on how to pay electric bills. Customers may pay at the office weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., use the drop box in the municipal parking lot or use E-Pay. Automatic payments may be set up on a monthly schedule.
    Codes
    Several codes matters were also raised at Monday’s village board meeting.
    Mayor Jim Baron said the owner of a vacant lot on Michigan Street has agreed to mow and maintain the lot. A letter was sent to the owner of a rental property on East Main Street.
    Problems at a house on Marshall Avenue were discussed. Police were called after residents there set off firecrackers and when police entered they found fireworks and drugs, according to village officials.
    Village Attorney Karl Manne said if police observed any codes violations while they were inside, there would be probable cause for the codes officer to investigate.
    Street department
    The village has been notified it will receive more money than initially anticipated through the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program, Village Clerk Judy Bray reported. She also said village Department of Public Works Superintendent Kevin Wheelock has requested the go-ahead to pay half the cost of a chipper that would be shared with the municipal commission. The 1986 chipper the village currently uses could be sold.
    Page 2 of 2 - The mayor asked that funds come from the current year’s budget if possible, as the purchase was not included in the 2013 - 2014 budget.
    Trustee Camen Tubia reported water was over the sidewalk during recent heavy rains and the storm sewers are nearly filled up with dirt.
    No action was taken on a Recreation Commission proposal to offer a YMCA membership to village employees and volunteers. Village Trustee Kathleen Eisenhut said she was opposed to the plan because it uses village tax money, but excludes village residents.
    Manne said he would recommend against the proposal unless it was negotiated as part of a compensation package for village employees.
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