The McPherson Board of Public Utilities altered two standing policy sets that determine customer costs when installing or altering electric lines on their properties.


The McPherson Board of Public Utilities altered two standing policy sets that determine customer costs when installing or altering electric lines on their properties.
Policies pertaining to both the extension of existing overhead lines and the installation of new underground lines are affected by the changes, which were unanimously voted into effect by the board at its Monday meeting.
Those extending primary overhead lines will see construction rates rise by an average of $0.38 per foot. The minimum charge for such installations was lifted by an additional $200, and a line extension credit of $5,280 was instated for multiphase constructions.
Changes to policy pertaining to out-of-town, underground electric line installations clarify and slightly amend existing practices. Electric customers may now request underground lines be installed at a location without existing service by paying the difference between overhead and underground installation costs. Customers also can request underground lines be installed on properties with existing service by paying for all costs associated with installation of the underground lines.
In other news:
• Following an executive session, a 3.5 percent cost-of-living increase was approved for employees. The increase, which was based on the consumer price index, applies to almost all BPU employees and will go into effect on Dec. 9.
• BPU Treasurer Larry Swenson said the board had taken the last step in finalizing its refinance of $7 million in 2004 bonds. Following a review of the finances related to the project, it was determined the utility is arbitrage-free and therefore not responsible for any additional taxes or penalties to the state.
• Maier told the board he had been contacted by a representative of Piper Jaffray, who informed him $8.8 million in 2007 water bonds would be available for refinance in October 2012. It was estimated a refinance could result in a interest rate one to two points lower than the standing rate. No action was taken on the matter.
• The board discussed the development of new customer management software.
• Meeting dates were approved for the 2012 calendar.