Iowa City Paid Too Much for Streetlights Since '04

The sign on N. Dubuque Street in Iowa City. (Mark Cahill/Iowa SourceMedia Group)

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By Ben Hoppenworth

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - A utility company has reimbursed Iowa City more than $531,000 after discovering that it mistakenly overbilled the city for streetlights for a decade.

City Manager Tom Markus said in a memo released Thursday that MidAmerican Energy discovered the overbilling last month during a lighting audit and sent the refund check last week.

He says a data entry error in its streetlight account meant the city was paying for more streetlights that it should have been since 2004.

Markus says the city has more than 3,000 streetlights for which it is billed each month. He writes that MidAmerican settled the issue "as equitably as they could have."

Neither MidAmerican nor the city discovered the overbilling for a decade, and both are taking steps to prevent similar problems from happening again.

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