Ad-Express and Daily Iowegian, Centerville, IA

Local News

March 25, 2014

Cincinnati approves franchise fee; Centerville inching closer to one

(Continued)

h. Property tax abatements, building permit fee abatements and abatement of other fees for property damaged by a disaster as defined in Iowa Code Section No. 29C.2

i. Economic development activities and projects.

The city of Centerville is moving toward a natural gas and electric franchise fee with Alliant Energy.

The council approved a resolution on Monday, March 3 to adopt a revenue purpose statement for the use or expenditure of fee revenues from electric and natural gas franchise fees for Centerville.

The council on Monday, March 17 set a public hearing date for Monday, April 7 at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall for electric and natural gas franchise(s).

Patrick Antonen, city administrator, said the city is looking at a 3 percent natural gas and electric franchise fee. He said state law allows up to 5 percent franchise fees.

Antonen said the franchise fee will replace the 1 percent Local Option Sales and Service Tax being charged for electric and natural gas services from Alliant.

“You can’t have both,” Antonen said about the franchise fee and LOSST. “You can have one or the either.”

Alliant Energy customers only need to look at their billing statement to see their electrical charges are multiplied by the 1 percent LOSST.

By going from the LOSST 1 percent to the 3 percent franchise fee, the city gains 2 percent to address infrastructure needs and utility customers’ bills go up by 2 percent.

Antonen said the revenue purpose statement allows the city to do a lot of good things.

One area of focus for the city is item G, Antonen said: The construction, reconstruction, or repair of streets, highways, bridges, sidewalks, pedestrian underpasses and overpasses, street lighting fixtures, public grounds and the acquisition of real estate needed for such purposes.

“That’s the big one that this franchise fee will go towards, is infrastructure,” Antonen said. “Because, you look at our streets. They’re in disrepair right now. We have a lot of roads to repair.”

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The Iowegian wants readers to think about the solicitation ordinance that will prevent groups or individuals from entering a roadway to solicit money. The Centerville City Council in June by a 5-0 vote passed the first reading of just such an ordinance. Public pressure and during a subsequent special meeting, the council voted 3-2 to table the ordinance. A second special meeting to discuss the solicitation ordinance is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 7 at City Hall. So, the question of the week is, "Do you or do you not support the ordinance to prevent solicitation of funds in city streets?"

A. I support the ordinance
B. I do not support the ordinance
C. Not sure
     View Results
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