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Itasca-Mantrap raises rates

Itasca-Mantrap Cooperative Services has implemented a rate increase implemented with the February billing cycle.

The monthly basic charge increased from $16.50 to $26, according to the cooperative's monthly newsletter. The Itasca-Mantrap Board of Directors decided to increase the general service rate from 8.2 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) to 9 cents per kWh September through May and from 9.6 cents per kWh to 10.4 cents per kWh June through August.

Itasca-Mantrap's President/CEO Michael Monsrud said in the newsletter,

"We just finished our 2009 budget process and came to the conclusion that our cost of wholesale power will increase by $1.7 million in 2009. We at the cooperative have held the line on operating costs and even reduced those costs from last year's budget.

"Our cost of power is an uncontrollable expense and has risen from about 60 percent to 70 percent of our cost of service."