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Duncan Electric Bills May Rise

DUNCAN Okla_ If you live in Duncan, you may have to start paying more for your power sooner than you think.

According to the city, Duncan Power will increase customers' bills as early as this month. The higher rates come after the city could no longer absorb its cost increases from the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority.

The Duncan City Council has a proposal to increase electric bills in the city. City Manager Jim Frieda said there's a chance that item could be tabled, as officials continue to work on lowering the amount of increase for customers. One thing's for sure: Duncan Power rates will go up.

"There is going to be a cost increase," Frieda said. "We can't help that."

Duncan Power is feeling the pinch when it comes to ponying up more money for the city's electricity. Covering extra costs is something some residents feel isn't realistic.

"If bills go up, everything else goes up, but my paycheck ain't going up," Frieda said. "That's not good for me. So, that means something has to suffer."

According to City Manager Jim Frieda, Duncan Power customers will be paying higher rates in order to keep the city in the black.

"If the city kept absorbing those costs, then those costs wouldn't be passed on to the customers," Frieda said. "The problem with that is our source of revenue in the city is sales tax, what we make off the sale of water and the sale of utilities. That's what supports the city."

He said the city paying higher costs given to them by the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority has significantly lowered revenue, allowing less money for things like street improvements and transportation. The question still remains: how much will those increases be?

"Presently, it would go up about $3 per 1,000 kilowatt hours," Frieda said.

That would move the price of those hours from $19 to almost $23. For most residents, that's something that's a price they'll try to adjust to.

"If they have to go up, they have to," one resident said.

"Maybe we'll just have to not use the air conditioning as much," said another.

Representatives from the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority will also attend Tuesday night's city council meeting in order to answer any questions the public might have about their bill.

City Manager Frieda said the increases could affect about 84 percent of the city.

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