Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Rochester Public Utilities Board has approved the municipally owned utility’s electric and water budgets for next year.

The plan calls for overall electric rates to remain unchanged in 2020 due to a nearly $1.7 million reduction in expenses, largely due to the effects of a rate cut instituted by the Rochester based Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency at the start of this year when RPU raised its rates 1.9-percent.

The water budget approved by the RPU Board does call for higher water rates next year, but the rate hike is about 40-percent smaller than the water rate increases enacted the past several years. RPU officials estimate the 3.5-percent hike will add just under 50-cents a month to the average residential customer’s utility bill.

The budget and rates will now go to the Rochester City Council for approval.

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