Hearing on electric rate hike is Tuesday

The Iowa Utilities Board will hold a hearing in Fort Dodge Tuesday on an electrical rate increase requested by MidAmerican Energy.

The hearing will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the Best Western Starlite Village Inn & Suites, 1518 Third Ave. N.W.

Average residential electricity bills would rise by about $8 a month under the proposed increase, Dean Crist, the vice president of the utility who handles regulatory issues, said during a June 3 visit to Fort Dodge. He said the increase would be phased in through 2016.

If approved, the increase will be the first one for Mid-American Energy since 1995. However, Fort Dodge residents have seen their electrical bills increase to pay for placing power lines underground along Fifth Avenue South and Kenyon Road.