AP NEWS

Idaho city to mail settlement checks to utility customers

July 9, 2019

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — The city of Pocatello is preparing to reimburse some residents for improper municipal utility fees the city charged between 2012 and 2014.

The Idaho State Journal reports the money comes from a $4.5 million settlement reached after residents filed a class-action lawsuit against the city over the fees.

None of the current city leaders were in office in 2005, when the city decided to operate its utilities as for-profit entities, like private utilities, adding an extra charge onto utility bills called a “return on equity” fee.

The Idaho Supreme Court deemed the extra charge illegal, and attorney Nathan Olsen estimated in early January that the city owed affected customers more than $20 million in damages and interest. But ultimately Olsen agreed to a settlement that included a repayment for just two years of the collections, plus $1 million toward interest.

The settlement checks are expected to be sent out this fall.

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Information from: Idaho State Journal, http://www.journalnet.com

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