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Niles approves higher electric rates and pothole patching plan

NILES, Mich. -

If you live in Niles, expect your electric rates to go up and some of your potholes to be patched up this year, after the council approved some upgrades and increases in their meeting.

One of the changes they approved was the sale of a plot of land to some homeowners for $1.00.

“We’re buying a property on 13th street, and we came tonight to see if we could buy a property next to it that the city owns for a dollar in order to build a nice house on the lot,” said the homeowner who purchased that land, Debra Kline.

“It’s only 50 feet wide, it didn’t sell at the tax sale, because you can’t build on a 50 foot wide lot anymore, and it just so happens that someone was actually buying the lot next door and needs both lots to build the home on,” said Niles city administrator, Richard Huff.

Those people are Rodney Segety and Debra Kline.

“They voted yes on it, so we’re real happy about it,” said Rodney Segety.

The big story was agenda item 11: increasing electric rates.

The council approved a rate hike of 4.7% for residential users.

“It’s something that’s necessary, not really wanted, but it’s something they have to do, so it’s got to be done,” said Kline.

“The rate hikes are necessary to make sure we are reinvesting properly in the infrastructure to make sure we have reliable power, and the purchase of power, we buy power wholesales, and our costs have gone up dramatically buying power,” said Huff.

The item that has everybody excited is number 8: new roads.

“I’m happy to see that they’re going to fix the roads. They need fixed,” said Kline.

The board agreed to pay a construction company more than $270,000 to resurface some of those rocky roads.

“Most of it will occur in our near downtown area, so we should see some new roads this summer,” said Huff.

“You know try to bring the neighborhood up, clean it up, and upgrade,” said Segety.

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