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- Letters -

February 25, 2009
Traer Star-Clipper

To the Editor:

You've printed several letters lately that have used a lot of words and several numbers trying to explain why Alliant makes money in Traer. But, what hasn't really been said is that our city is on the path to lose a lot of money in the coming years after a takeover of Alliant's system.

An ad was placed in the Shopper and Clipper that compared Alliant's system to a home mortgage. Let's think about it.

Alliant has a mortgage for the gas system paid off. So, all we have to pay Alliant right now is for our gas, the upkeep, and repairs. If we paid too much, the state would make Alliant lower the rates. (Regulations that TMU would not be governed under as the operators.)

But doesn't the TMU want to take out a new "mortgage" to buy the systemfrom Alliant? (Who doesn't want to sell, by the way, and will want to fight the sale, adding more costs!)

I don't know about you, but my monthly bills are much higher with a mortgage payment than without. So, based on their ad, expect TMU's natural gas rates to be much higher than Alliant's just so they can make the mortgage payments.

They might argue that because they dont make a profit, they don't have to charge as much as Alliant. But if that's true, why is Alliant's rate already cheaper than so many of the long-standing city-owned natural gas utilities in Iowa? If it's really cheaper to have a paid-off system, why are Traer's electrical rates increasing so much? Based on the logic of their ad, shouldn't we all be getting really cheap electricity in Traer?

Alliant's rates aren't so dependent on the number of customers, or the loss of one, especially a major user such as Traer Manufacturing's effect on operating costs and charges. If TMU had the gas franchise too, how would you like to also be paying higher natural gas prices after the closing of Traer Manufacturing?

I'm sticking with a system that's already paid for, not a new mortgage for the TMU, where I will be an unwilling co-signer. Let's vote YES for Alliant-Interstate Power and Light on March 3 and keep our gas rates low and the TMU out of the natural gas business.


Ernie Cufr



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