Manti power rates rise, second year in a row
Acquisition of non-coal power plant drives cost increase
MANTI—Electricity rates have risen by nearly 4 percent for Manti City residents, a hand-down from an increase in what the city pays as a member of Utah Municipal Power Agency (UMPA).
The new rate of 10.17 cents per kilowatt-hour, up from 9.8 cents per kilowatt-hour, went into effect after the Manti City Council approved the hike on Wednesday, July 12.
Manti City Administrator Kent Barton said the increase is a pass-through to residents from UMPA, which was required to boost its rates.
But, explained Mayor Korry Soper, the real culprit forcing the rate hike is the decline in coal-generated energy and, if one wants to take it further, the environmental and market concerns driving that change.
Soper is chairman of UMPA, a consortium of six cities In Utah, Juab and Sanpete counties. (Manti is the only Sanpete County city represented). He explained the increase was needed to offset the costs of a recently UMPA-acquired $80-million West Valley City gas-fired generating plant, purchased as a result of expiring contracts UMPA has had in place for many years with coal-fired power plants.
Soper explained that the acquisition of the West Valley plant by the agency was made in an effort to stabilize power rates for its member cities as environmental pressures continue to target coal generation plants.
This is the second year in a row that power consumers in Manti have seen an increase.
But even so, Manti’s residential electricity rate is about 5.5 percent below the Utah’s average of 10.74 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Nationally, consumers pay an average of 12.7 cents per kilowatt-hour, about 18 percent more than Utah consumers.
In other business, Brian Bies reported that he, as the city’s new zoning and nuisance (ZAN) officer, had received pushback from citizens when issued citations for vehicles remaining parked on city streets for longer than city ordinance allows, particularly broken-down vehicles and trailers.
Councilman Jason Maylett wondered if the ordinance was clear enough, and that it perhaps should be reviewed.
Councilman Gary Chidister wanted to make sure the city is consistent in enforcing the ordinances. “If one gets cited for an infraction, then it applies to everyone.”
Some on the council felt the city should be willing to accommodate situations in which citizens may not be able to move a vehicle off the street right away.
However, Mayor Soper said that if citizens say they don’t have room for storing those vehicles, there are storage places in the city that they could rent.
“We need to support our ZAN officer and support the ordinance consistently,” Soper said.
On another matter, the council gave permission for Hunter Palmer to hold a farmer’s market near the Old City Hall building beginning at the end of August.
Palmer approached the council requesting permission to hold the market after space he had used for the market in the past in Sterling became no longer available.
“I started a farmer’s market in Sterling and it was very successful,” Palmer said.
He said he wanted to now bring vendors to Manti, instead.
“Everything is homegrown by area locals, and I have several vendors offering different items,” meaning not only garden or farm products, he said.
The market would run for about five weeks, on Saturdays from 8 a.m.-noon.
“I do charge vendors a small fee, but I turn that into advertising to get the word out,” Palmer said.
Palmer said the market had been very successful in the past. “I am anticipating about half dozen or more vendors this year.”
The first of the farmer’s markets will be either the second or third Saturday in August, Palmer told the Messenger, depending on how the start of the harvest season goes.