City council strikes down proposed of Minnesota Energy franchise - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

City council strikes down proposed of Minnesota Energy franchise fee

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Rochester City Council decided to retract a planned franchise fee on Monday despite the negative impact on the city's budget.

Minnesota Energy had planned to impose a monthly gas fee of $1 per home and $2 per business in 2015, but the city council unexpectedly lifted those fees by a vote of six to one.

However, since the city council had already planned for those pending funds to be used in next year's budget, they now find themselves short by a margin of $350,000.

The main motivator behind canceling the franchise fee was the lack of public knowledge about the plan.

"I think that's the role of the elected body," said Rochester city councilman Randy Staver. "We listen to our constituents, we listen to our citizens, and we try to take that to heart and make decisions accordingly."

The plan is still under consideration and the city council has scheduled a public hearing for January 21 so that citizens can voice their opinion.
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