MARQUETTE — The Marquette Board of Light and Power made their decision about rate increases Tuesday evening.

The board voted to increase rates in the city to support building more reliable generators. The rate increase starts at 30% effective October 2016, with the possibility of 4.5% increases over the following two years.

The board says their goal is to give the public a realistic estimate now, with the hopes of lowering those increases when the time comes.

Manager of Planning and Utility Compliance Erik Booth says, “We think we can lower that number, but we didn’t want to be overly optimistic with the community. We wanted to be realistic starting out the gate, and then work as hard as we can to chisel that number down.”

The board agreed that this move will allow them to be proactive about future risks and offer more reliability.

Board Chairman John Prince says, “In our business, and especially in northern climates, reliability is very, very serious in the dead of winter when you have sub–zero potential temperatures. You know the Marquette Board of Light and Power’s stance on reliability is always have a back–up, a means of, if something fails whether it’s a portion of our system that has to go down for maintenance, we have a back–up.”

The board’s next step is to appear before the city commission to confirm the rates next week.