City Council looks at 2014 LES budget - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

City Council looks at 2014 LES budget

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By: Jenn Hatcher

LES is proposing a 2.9% rate hike in 2014, for residential customers.

The public power company pitched its budget to the Lincoln City Council Monday night, during a pre-council meeting.

"One of the things we need to realize is LES has a huge budget with all these capitol needs," says city council member, Jon Camp.

For Camp, this is the 15th year he's heard a presentation from the power entity.

He says it's always a professional presentation and he appreciates how transparent the company tries to be.

He says there are some items in the budget he would like to look over; the service charge on your bills that continues to increase, the extra one million dollars towards the sustainable energy program and the rainy day fund, that continues to grow.

Camp says, "I like rainy day funds, having cushion but how much is enough, so I think that could provide some savings and I'll be taking a look at that."

LES says the rate increase is mainly driven by transmission expense and the sustainable energy program.

Laura Kaputska with LES says, "The bottom line, nobody wants to pay more for their electricity, what we hope to do is to show them that the reason why the increase is needed and also at the end of the day to show them how our rates still remain very competitive in the region."

The total rate hike for customers would balance out to about $2.41 more per month per household.

Next Monday, November 44th, the city council will listen to public comment around 5:30 p.m.


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