Residential electric customers in Morrill would pay a $20 per month administrative fee under a plan being considered by the village board of trustees.
The measure was approved 5-0 on first reading in December, but on second reading earlier this month passed narrowly on a 3-2 vote.
Board chairman Tony Schuler says while some residents are not happy the fee won’t apply to businesses and agriculture, he tells KNEB News adding those customers would have had a disproportionate impact. “If you were to take all of the meters, you would have some farmers that would have up to 20 meters, and you would be hitting them multiple times. Businesses have multiple meters, you’re hitting them”, says Schuler. “So, we thought that if we we were just getting residential meters, we were getting everybody pretty much once that live in our town, and not hitting multiple people multiple times.”
Schuler says the intent of the fee is to help pay for electric system administrative duties currently performed by the city clerk and others as the board tries to keep city necessities and amenities intact.
The measure would generate just under $160,000 a year, and a 3rd and final reading is anticipated at the board’s Feb. 5 meeting. Schuler says the board wants to hear from all customers about the plan, including those outside city limits.