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Mail Tribune 100

June 17, 1915

LIGHT AND POWER RATES TO BE FIXED BY STATE BOARD

The city council at their regular meeting Tuesday night received a report from the light and water committee favorable to the granting of a franchise to the Rogue River Public Service corporation, and the city attorney has been instructed to draft an ordinance granting them such a franchise.

This should call to the attention of those who have been following up at all the matter of contention between the city and the California-Oregon Power company, that the proposed franchise to the Rogue River Public Service corporation, while purporting to grant lower rates to the citizens of Medford, fails to touch upon many of the most vital points at all, and is misleading in others — and we here desire to state a few facts for the consideration of any and all concerned.

How Rates are Fixed

In the first place, the making of the rates for the consumers in any city of Oregon is subject absolutely to the control and approval of the public service commission, hence the quoting of a set of rates in the franchise will last just long enough for any interested citizens, or the municipality, to file a formal complaint with the said public service commission, which under the law must make a physical valuation of the properties of said company, and then proceed to fix the rates to be charged to consumers by said utility, in accordance with the law, and if it is found that the rates are too low to permit of a fair return (presumably 6 to 8 per cent in Oregon) upon the actual property values found to exist in said utility operations after inventorying, checking and vaining by the commission and its experts, then they are in duty bound to raise said rates sufficient to make such fair returns — and if for instance the rates being charged are too high, they accordingly would be reduced by said public service commission.