Larger than average utility rate increase in Carthage explained

Carthage Water Electric Plant


CARTHAGE, Mo. – This summer, the Carthage Water & Electric Plant raised their rates 3.7% which is a bit higher than the typical annual rate increase that usually falls between one and three percent.

Chuck Bryant, general manager of the Carthage Water and Electric Plant says they had to adjust after some big changes at the Carthage Butterball facility.

“From what I understand, they are planning to and have made adjustments in their production schedule, and are moving a lot of their major utility usage production to a location in Arkansas. Carthage will be a manufacturing and packaging facility for them, so it’s just a little bit different usage of their utilities which for us results in about a 2.3 million dollar reduction in revenue,” said Bryant.

The 2021 rate increase boils down to a six dollar increase on the average residential utility bill.

William Fisher is a retired Carthage resident on a fixed income, and while he’s not thrilled with the increase in the cost of living, he says he’s lived in Carthage a long time and that the Carthage Water & Electric Plant runs an honest business.

“(Do I) like it? No. But understanding it. Yes. The wife and I knew it was going to happen, and the power plant’s always been very good to most any Carthage resident, and I’m sure that we’d all say that we miss the dollars from our pocketbooks, but most of us have just accepted it as is,” said Fisher.

Butterball provided a statement to KOAM saying, “While we can’t validate the impact our previously announced operational changes could have on the Carthage Water & Electric Plant, and while those changes have yet to take place, we continue to reinvest in the Carthage facility to improve efficiency and manufacturing processes. Butterball is proud of our long history in Carthage and will continue to be an integral part of the local economy.”