The cost of utilities in Hannibal is set to rise again. 

Two people spoke against the rate increases during a public hearing Tuesday at the Board of Public Works office.

Joyce Brown said her residential electric bill has gone from $70 a month in 2004 to $140 a month now.  Brown questioned why rates are going up when the wholesale price of electricity is currently down.   General Manager Bob Stevenson answered that wholesale electric prices are expected to go back up.  Stevenson said cash reserves are needed to cover those increases, EPA mandates, and unexpected emergencies such as the severe storm damage that occurred one year ago.

Harry Graves of PTC Alliance/ Enduro Industries told the BPW Board high electric rates are having a negative effect on his manufacturing facility.  Graves suggested the City consider buying more electricity on the spot market.  Graves also spoke in favor of a time-of-use rate where lower rates would be available at non-peak times.  Stevenson countered that buying on the spot market could result in large rate spikes for residential consumers. Stevenson told Graves he would be open to exploring a time-of-use rate.

During the regular meeting, The Public Works Board approved raising electric and water rates 5 percent , and raising sewer rates 5.5 percent.  Estimates are the average residential bill will increase around $10 a month.  The increases take effect June 20.