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Sioux City Council OKs Fees Lawsuit Settlement

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - The City Council has approved paying a nearly $6.5 million settlement of a lawsuit over the city's franchise fees.

The council approved the settlement on Monday. The 2006 class-action lawsuit was filed on behalf of residents and businesses that paid franchise fees for gas or electricity to MidAmerican Energy Co. or Woodbury County Rural Electric Cooperative from Sept. 5, 2001, to May 25, 2009.

The city will sell bonds to cover the settlement and then may increase the franchise fee from the current 2 percent to the maximum 5 percent allowed under state law.

A judge now will rule on whether the settlement agreement is fair. That could take as long as two months, and it could take six more months before refunds will be paid to those eligible.