Council to Consider Utility Bill Fee


By Rachel Begle

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The Des Moines City Council could raise its franchise fee on utility bills so it can pay back bonds issued to cover refunds on an illegally collected fee.

The Des Moines Register says the council will consider the proposal on Monday.

In 2009 a judge ruled that Des Moines illegally collected a fee on gas and electricity customers from September 2004 through May 2009. The Legislature later changed state law to allow for the fee collection, but the city must refund about $42 million to MidAmerican Energy customers. The city issued bonds to cover the refunds.

The temporary bump in franchise fees will be used to pay off the bonds.

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