Beatrice Board of Public Works, Sticks By Utility Deposit Policy

BEATRICE – The Beatrice Board of Public Works is sticking by its policy on utility deposits, after a new grocery business coming to Beatrice objected to the $10,000 deposit they must provide.

BPW Manager Tobias Tempelmeyer said he offered the business a reduction of $5,000 on the required deposit, but the company objected to that.

Utility deposits are refunded after two years of good standing on utility payments, by residential and commercial customers. Tempelmeyer says an alternative that meets the requirement is providing a letter of credit…with no cash deposit.

Board of Public Works member Darin Baehr feels the deposit policy should apply uniformly.

:06                  “or not”

Mayor Stan Wirth says the new utility customer has options where money can be earned on the deposit, or no cash is paid.

:20                  “easiest option”

Baehr says the policy is fair and does not stifle growth.  Mayor Wirth agrees. Baehr says the Board of Public Works also assumes some risk for providing utility services.  He said any exceptions to the policy should go before the board, for action.

Utility deposits were once held for five years, but that was reduced a few years ago, to two years.  The BPW utility deposit policy covers owner-occupied residential properties, residential rental properties and commercial properties.  For commercial properties, the deposit is calculated by taking the average monthly utility bill of the business for the past twelve months, and multiplying that number by two.

Once 24 months of good credit are achieved, the utility deposit is returned, applied to the customer’s utility bill.

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