Estherville electricity rates will be going up 1 cent per kilowatt at the end of 2012 as a result of action taken at the city council meeting on Monday.
Estherville City Administrator Penny Clayton said officials have known for some time that electric rates need to be raised because of wholesaler cost increases.
"We need to keep up with wholesale prices," Clayton said.
The city administrator said consumers can anticipate other small increases in the future.
"We think it's better to make small adjustments rather than one large one later on," she said.
For residential areas, the cost will increase from 9.5 to 10.5 cents per kilowatt hour; for small commercial rates will increase from 9.7 to 10.7 cents; for large commercial rates will rise from 59.7 to 6.7 cents and for industrial rates will increase from 4.9 to 5.9 cents per kilowatt hour.
Council approved the first reading of the ordinance to raise electric rates at Monday's meeting. With only five members present, council will have to conduct the second reading at its Nov. 19 meeting and can possibly pass it if there is a supermajority-six members approve it.
In other business Monday, council approved the proposed building plan submitted by Casey's for a new commercial building at 8 Central Avenue - the southwest corner of First Street and Central Avenue.
Estherville Community Development Director Barb Mack said some of the building's specifications didn't quite meet city code concerning building materials. However council members gave it their unanimous approval.
Looking at the building specifications, the new Casey's store will be approximately twice as large the current building.
Also Monday, council set a public hearing on the 2012 digester cover project for 5 p.m., Monday, Dec. 17.
Council approved the change order for the 2011 street resurfacing project by $1,033. That completes the project and the city will make final payment.
Council also approved an application from APE Builders, Inc., for a partial property tax exemption as defined in the city's urban revitalization plan. The exemption applies to new home construction only. Clayton expects other builders of other new homes will submit their applications prior to the annual Feb. 1 deadline.