Mason City council approves resolution opposing Alliant rate hike

MASON CITY — The City Council in Mason City last night approved a resolution opposing Alliant Energy’s proposed rate increase.

Second Ward Councilman Will Symonds placed the resolution on the agenda, saying Alliant’s request to the Iowa Utilities Board to approve a nearly 20% increase to the base rate of electricity and natural gas rates could negatively impact Mason City residents.  “We all know that inflation has hit us hard in the last few years and I just feel like Alliant…it’s an inappropriate time to raise rates, especially by this much. I understand that each business, they’ve all needed to raise prices on everything. I just don’t believe that this is an appropriate amount to raise.”

City Administrator Aaron Burnett says Alliant’s high rates are creating a serious hindrance to economic development in the city.  “Of the utility providers in Iowa, if you look at Alliant, they are the highest cost utility provider. There is a little bit of an economic development issue here where when an industry chooses to locate in Mason City versus one that is served by MidAmerican, they can expect much higher rates when they locate here. The continual push to be one of the most expensive providers in the Midwest, it does come with a cost. It’s not just the residents, it’s also our economic development efforts.”

The council passed a similar motion in 2019 when Alliant last requested a rate hike.