Plankinton council approves $23K rate study

October 4, 2016

Utility is one step closer to upgrading electric system

Some utility poles in Plankinton, SD are standing simply because electric lines are holding them up.

Cause for concern? You bet. Especially if you live in Plankinton and prefer electric power.

Municipal officials fully understand their electric system is in need of an upgrade, and now they’re one step closer to making it happen.

At its September meeting, the city council voted to approve an electric rate study costing nearly $23,000. The city signed an agreement with DG&R Engineering of Rock Rapids, IA, to perform the study, pending a review by city attorney Jim Taylor.

Ultimately, the city wants two things: to convert existing overhead electrical lines to underground, and to incorporate a new load management system for the water and electric utilities. With the new system, water and electrical meters would be fully automated, whereas now they are read manually by city employees.

However, the city can’t move forward with either of these projects until they determine feasibility.

Hence, the rate study.

For approximately $22,900, DG&R will:

  • Review the financial situation in light of planned costs
  • Analyze current rate structures and customer class definitions to compare with industry practices
  • Determine fiscal requirements for the next five years and coordinate revenue needs with planned construction activities
  • Evaluate impact to ratepayers in light of planned capital costs and proposed rates
  • Develop retail rates for use by the city

DG&R also promises to develop a full study report and review the findings with staff and city council.

No time frame has been determined when the study will be performed or completed, but municipal officials agree it is the first step in the best course of action for reliable service in Plankinton.