In response to the 15 percent increase from the Lincoln County Power District, the City of Caliente has approved new power rates for residents of the City at the last City Council meeting Nov. 21. The former rate, 10.1 cents per kilowatt hour, has now increased to 11.3 cents per kilowatt hour. November power statements to the residents of Caliente will reflect the increase, which the power district put into effect on Nov. 1. The City also decided to remove the multi species fee from resident’s bills.

Because of the decrease of power generated by the Hoover Dam, however, it is possible for the Council to revisit the issue in the future.

Also among business discussed was the long-awaited Caliente Depot room lease rate. The city council had been discussing the room rates at the Caliente Depot over the course of the last couple months, seeking to revise and lower room rates as an incentive to get more business in the depot. However, questions were raised as to whether or not the current fiscal year would be able to support the decrease since the revenue had been calculated at the rate of $1 per square foot for the fiscal year. The project has been overseen by Councilman Victor Jones, who wanted to offer different rates for different rooms because of the separate amenities available in each room. The City unanimously approved to set the depot room rates at 50 cents per square foot for rooms without central heating or air (HVAC), and 80 cents per square foot for rooms with HVAC. Previous rates were $1 per square foot. Jones later said, “I wanted to get everything even across the board for the community, to rent as a service to the community because the City is owned by the community.” The approved rates will go into effect the first of the year.

The next cycle of the Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) were also discussed. No public comment was submitted for possible projects. Utility foreman Jerry Carter discussed some issues within the City that he felt were of importance to take care of with the grant funds. The top two priorities the Council decided upon were to replace the Clover Street sidewalk with ADA compliant sidewalks, from the hardware store to the corner of Spring Heights, and to replace the existing water main from the highway bridge to Agua Caliente, in order to meet fire suppression needs.

The City will hear any public comment for these projects at the Dec. 5 City Council meeting.