Modesto Irrigation District votes to raise rates 7 percent

The Modesto Irrigation District board voted this morning to raise electricity rates 7 percent as of Jan. 1.

The move will increase the average residential bill from $139.55 to $149.32 a month, although consumption is much higher in summer than winter.

The 4-1 vote came over objections from ratepayers who cited the rough economy and urged the board to cut spending instead.

The district staff said the increase was needed to cover the high cost of state-mandated renewable power and to boost reserves so MID can get low interest rates on bond sales for capital projects.

Directors John Kidd, Glen Wild, Paul Warda and Tom Van Groningen voted for the increase. Director Cecil Hensley dissented.

The increase includes 2 percent for general operations and 5 percent for renewable power, a distinction that will be explained on bills.