Just when we were starting to be very concerned about the leadership in the city of Marquette, it seems like wise decisions were made at the last city commission meeting on Monday night.
The rate increase for the Marquette Board of Light & Power was approved on a 6 to 1 vote. Even though we are never excited about rate increases, we see this as a definite need so our community will be able to meet its long term power goals.
We have to keep in mind that this is the first rate increase that has been requested in close to 30 years. We feel the BLP did a good job of explaining the need for the rate increase and outlining their future plans.
We are also glad that the city commissioners had sufficient foresight to realize the real need for long term improvements to the existing plant to guarantee reasonable energy cost for the sustainable future.
Also, keep in mind that even with the rate increases over the next three years, BLP customers are still paying much less for power than UPPCO customers or Alger/Delta customers.
On the issue of a new trucking ordinance, it appears common sense is being used in trying to work out a solution for all parties involved. The commission voted unanimously to cancel the special Wednesday session regarding a truck ordinance to give all the parties time to work on a plan that meets the needs of the trucking companies and the city.
The city also participated in a meeting with Marquette Township on Tuesday night, discussing a possible alternate route. There appears to be a possible option of using some BLP land to bypass the city, which would eliminate much of the concern of the trucks coming through the intersection of Wright Street and Sugarloaf Avenue, diverting heavy haulers away from Northern Michigan University.
We are happy to see a change in the direction we felt the city was going by showing a proactive approach to both the BLP rate request and the postponement of a possible trucking ordinance. We are also pleased to see the township and the city of Marquette working together to come up with a solution for the trucking issue.
It is important to have strong working relationships between the city of Marquette and surrounding townships and that has not always been true in the past.