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TMCNet:  Cedar Falls Utilities water, cable rates to jump

[November 16, 2012]

Cedar Falls Utilities water, cable rates to jump

Nov 16, 2012 (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Cedar Falls Utilities customers will see rate hikes for water and cable TV for 2013.

The CFU board of trustees Wednesday approved a 7 percent raise in water rates. That would mean an additional $1.13 per month for the average household.

Subscribers to CFU's Basic Plus cable plan will pay $4.50 per month more next year. Ninety percent of customers have that plan or a level of service that includes the plan, plus add-ons.

Cedar Falls' water rates are among the lowest in Iowa, said CFU spokeswoman Betty Zeman. The jump will keep pace with rising costs, as well as water main upgrades related to city street replacement projects. Rates last increased by 9 percent in 2011.

Increased license fees CFU pays to local NBC, CBS, Fox and ABC stations, as well as price hikes from many cable networks, led to the cable increase.

"The fees networks charge for the channels in our most popular cable package will be more than 30 percent higher in 2013 than they were in 2011," Zeman said. "Nearly two-thirds of the money our customers pay for cable service is used to pay carriage fees to the networks." For the current year, subscribers to Basic and Basic Plus cable plans each saw a $2 per month rate increase over 2011. Those who bundled home Internet with cable paid $3.50 more.

Customers will receive a mail notification of all cable rate changes, which vary by service plan. The new rates take effect in January.

For home and business high-speed Internet services, prices are slated to stay the same. In January, CFU will upgrade speeds on all FiberNet service plans to create substantially faster download and upload speeds. Customers especially will see better performance when streaming or uploading video, or running other high-demand applications.

Electric and gas bills will remain stable, though residents will notice a change in the way those charges are presented on their bills, Zeman said. CFU's board adopted a revenue-neutral change in the way costs are divided between the flat monthly basic service charge and the usage-based variable charges on gas and electric bills.

Overall, the total customers pay for natural gas and electricity will stay the same on average, though some could experience a small increase or decrease, depending on usage patterns.

CFU's service rates are established by a five-member board staffed by Cedar Falls residents. All CFU service rates may be found online at

___ (c)2012 Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (Waterloo, Iowa) Visit Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier (Waterloo, Iowa) at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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