Petersburg: Two utility board members resign over lack of rate study

Posted: Sunday, July 07, 2002

Don Koenigs and Tom Stearns of the Petersburg Utility Board tendered letters of resignation to the City Council on Monday. They resigned after the Council's recent vote not to appropriate $30,000 for an electrical rate study. A rate study has not been conducted since 1986.

In his letter to the Council, Stearns said he feels the utility board's decisions and recommendations have been "totally ignored."

"Apparently, the Council has its own agenda and neither is nor has been interested in any advice or recommendations this board has to offer," wrote Stearns.

Koenigs' resignation came with a copy of the original rate review recommendation submitted to the council in February. Among other reasons for its recommendation, it said, "The City of Petersburg should ensure that the present rate structure is fair and equitable to all rate payers under existing management goals and objectives."

At the June 17 meeting, the council voted 5-1 not to fund the rate study.

"A rate study is going to be fine, but right at this moment, right in the middle of a bunch of things that are in the air, I don't think it's the right time. I'm not saying we won't have a rate study, but not right away," said Mayor Ted Smith on KFSK radio station Monday.

The Council is now seeking letters of interest from people willing to serve on the board until the October elections.

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