FRONTENAC — Frontenac utility customers will see an increase in their monthly bills beginning with statements going out on Jan. 20 — but the good news is that the increase for 2016 will not be as high it has been in prior years.
The Frontenac City Council on Monday approved a 2 percent hike in utility bills. That will translate into a 70-cent per month increase for customers receiving the city's minimum utility charge, according to Frontenac City Clerk Jayme Mjelde.
Those minimum bills will go from $35.03 a month to $35.73 for residential customers while the minimum increase for business customers will be 87 cents per month. In 2015 city utility customers faced a 5 percent increase in their utility bills and officials said that range of increase had been typical in recent years.
City Attorney Jennifer Brunetti said the city has a lot of customers on fixed incomes and officials wanted to keep the increase to a minimum. The increase was unanimously passed on a motion by Councilman Tim Ziesenis and seconded by Ethan Spurling.
In other business at Monday night's meeting, the council unanimously voted to pursue legal action against tenants on two lots in the Frontenac North Industrial Park. After a brief executive session with the council, Brunetti said the action came about because the owners of those properties have not lived up to their end of an incentive package the city provided as an enticement to get businesses in operation on those lots.
"They've not lived up to their end of the incentive agreements," she said after the meeting.
Mayor Jim Kennedy summed up his feelings on how Frontenac concluded 2015.
"2015 was a good year for the city — everything turned out pretty good and we're hoping 2016 turns out even better," Kennedy said.
— Mike Elswick is a staff writer for The Morning Sun. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.