City Hall Happenings’

In an effort to have a more informative relationship with our customers, the City of Brady has developed a question and answer format that addresses frequently asked questions. We would like to share this information with everyone. Beginning in this issue, questions we receive on a frequent basis concerning a number of issues, will be printed along with the appropriate answer. We encourage the public to ask questions. We will do our best to communicate those answers in a clear and concise manner. DEREGULATION QUESTION Q: Why can we not get utility service from any other companies’ A: The City chose not to opt into deregulation, thereby maintaining its right to be the only provider for electric service in the city limits. A recent survey of deregulated areas indicate that the City of Brady’s December 2006 rate of 11 cents per kilowatt-hour compares favorably with deregulated rates averaging 13.5 cents per kwh for residential customers. The City of Brady depends heavily on electric revenues to fund general government services; therefore, it is imperative that this revenue stream be maintained. General government services and programs that are provided for our citizens include EMS, police, fire, street maintenance, municipal court, public administration, golf course, airport, swimming pool, parks and the lake. The City is a cost-based provider that allows all the utility revenues produced over and above operational expenses to go back to fund the general city services. Unlike a private company, the city does not have to pay shareholders. The electric sales revenue is also instrumental in keeping property taxes at a very low rate. UTILITY DEPOSITS Q: Why does the City of Brady collect a mandatory deposit rather than accepting letters of credit/ letters of good standing for a residential customer’ A: Rather than charging a non-refundable connect fee to turn services on for the first time, the city collects a deposit that will eventually be returned upon closing of the account. For those customers transferring service after opening an account, the city only charges a small service call fee of $10 per utility transferred. While most utility companies provide an exemption from a deposit requirement upon proof of good credit, they still charge a non-refundable connect fee ranging from $35 to $50 for one utility service upon opening an account. Transferring service also subjects the customer to the same non-refundable service fee. Remember, the City of Brady offers five utility services. If we compared the connect fee of one utility company, we would need to multiply the rate by five, or at least by three. Water and sewer often are provided together and trash service may not require a deposit/connect fee. Therefore, the city’s $200 refundable residential deposit for five services should be compared to at least three separate non- refundable connect fees ranging from $105-$150. If one transferred, the overall cost would be more than the city’s fee structure. Do you have a question about our city government’ Email Mayor James Stewart at jstew@centex.net or contact city hall at 597-2152.

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