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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Chloe Everson
Chloe Everson
Sports Editor

Hi! My name is Chloe and I am a fourth-year senior here at NMU. I am a Public Relations major and have always enjoyed sports. I love being outdoors, shopping, and drinking coffee at all hours of the...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

NEVER STOP RUNNING — Many people turn to the treadmill once temperatures start to drop. The truth is, with proper protection, you can keep running outside as long as youd like.
Opinion — Outdoor exercise in the chilly seasons
Harry StineDecember 5, 2023

City Commission approves energy rate hike

Northern Michigan University can expect to pay almost $1 million more in energy bills next year after the Marquette City Commission voted Monday to raise energy rates by 30 percent.

The increase in rates will go into effect on Oct. 1, 2016.

With aging facilities and new environmental standards, the Marquette Board of Light and Power said the current coal-powered plants are unreliable. The BLP will use the extra revenue to build a new, reliable natural gas facility.

“As far as reliability, no one wants to see the power go off. Right now the only thing we can depend on is unit number three, which is 37 years old, and it’s subject to breakdown,” Mayor Pro Tem Dave Campana said.

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The motion passed in a 4-3 vote, Commissioners Tom Baldini, Sara Cambensy and Sarah Reynolds being the no votes.

“To me, this decision comes down to being very transparent with the public,” Cambensy said. “I think we’re getting close, but I think we really left out the public in this decision.”

Derek Hall, NMU assistant vice president of marketing and communication, said that the university submitted a letter to the city commission two weeks ago outlining how much it would impact the university.

“We wanted to make sure they knew our situation and that it was part of their discussion,” Hall said. “This raise in rates just compounds what we’re doing now to try and cut costs.”

During the 2014-2015 school year, NMU spent about $3.3 million on electricity. Part of that went to auxiliary services, such as the university center, food services, and residence halls. These energy costs are covered by what students pay in housing and service fees.

“The university doesn’t make money off of those fees. It goes directly to paying bills and covering costs,” Hall said. “So an increase in energy costs for these auxiliary services goes directly back to students.”

This means that students can expect to see an increase in their housing and residence life fees in the coming years.

The university is exploring the option of updating older buildings to be more energy efficient, which will save money in the long run.

“What the university has done over the past 15-20 years is upgraded systems within buildings to conserve energy,” Hall said. “Compare New Jamrich to old Jamrich—the power footprint of New Jamrich is less than the old building. “

Hall said that though NMU is experiencing savings through these upgrades, it is not as much as they would like, since the rates keep increasing.

In Mayor Mike Coyne’s last vote as city commissioner, he voted in favor of the rate increase.

“Marquette elected the Board of Light and Power members to provide good management and affordable power for the citizens and they have done that,” Coyne said. “I want to thank [the BLP] for [its] spectacular work on looking at all the options and coming up with, after we have questioned you, the best option.”

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