Maxwell businessman Randy Stubbs appeared at a Nov. 14 meeting of the Dawson Public Power District Board of Directors, asking the board to reconsider their policy of charging a $400 deposit for electric service.
Stubbs owns rental properties in Maxwell.
He pointed out that an individual can get electric service in North Platte from Municipal Light and Water for a $50 deposit. But if that individual moves a mile away, outside the North Platte city limits, he or she has to come up with $400.
Stubbs said it could by the highest required deposit in Nebraska and it is almost "oppressive,” hurting growth in rural communities such as Maxwell, Brady and Hershey.
Director Rodger White told Stubbs that the deposit was $200 for many years. Stubbs said he feels lower income families could handle a $200 deposit.
Director Bill Henry of Hershey asked if landlords such as Stubbs would be willing to guarantee payment for tenants in return for lower deposits.
"This would amount to co-signing with all of our tenants, which we are unable to do," Stubbs said.
Board President Paul Neil asked Stubbs what he charges for a rental deposit when a house is rented. Stubbs said he does not charge a deposit, partly to free up funds for utility deposits and that he does not like to come up with deposit money when a tenant moves out.
Bob Stubblefield of Shelton said the board had not heard other complaints about the high deposit amount, and promised the board would look into it.
The Dawson Public Power District serves one-third of Lincoln County, all of Dawson and Buffalo counties, approximately two-thirds of Gosper County and parts of Custer, Sherman and Frontier counties.
The district also serves several villages: Hershey, Maxwell, Brady, Farnam, Eustis, Elwood, Eddyville, Smithfield, Overton, Sumner, Miller, Riverdale, Amherst, Odessa and Pleasanton.