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      Electricity bills to rise soon?

      Marquette residents could be paying more for electricity in the coming months. Monday night, city commissioners met with the Board of Light and Power in a joint work session. Talks centered around the reason for a proposed 8.5 percent rate hike for the next three years. The BLP says they need to upgrade infrastructure in the city and make sure they have enough funds to keep the company operational.

      "We're looking at a rate increase primarily for rebuilds of our infrastructure--a lot of our relay protection schemes, putting more relays in our power plants. We need to reinvest in those," said BLP Executive Director Paul Kitti. "It's serious business because when the lights go out, no one is happy."

      City commissioners say they feel the public needs more advanced notice if rates increase. The Board of Light and Power estimates the average resident using 500 kilowatt hours a month will see an increase of just over $4 in their monthly bill. The BLP is expected to bring the official proposal to the next city commission meeting scheduled for Monday, August 26.