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      Xcel rate increase decision delayed for 90 days

      Southwestern Public Service filed for a rate increase on January 9 2014. This means rates for Xcel customers could be increasing.

      "We're looking at a rate increase to help us cover the costs of building out our infrastructure. And basically our infrastructure is power lines, sub stations, power generating plants," said Wes Reeves, Xcel spokesperson.

      Reeves said the need to replace the old infrastructure and add more is a sign of a growing economy.

      Reeves said the rate increase is a two part process. Residential customers using 1,000 kilowatt-hours a month would cause an increase of $10.94 a month, or a $10.47 increase.

      "We're proposing what we call interim rates, which would go into effect around the 1st of Marchâ?|and that would step in about 40 percent of the overall increase," Reeves said. "Then we'd see the remainder of that increase come in in July or August of this year."

      The City Council voted Tuesday to delay the request for 90 days. Council Member Jim Simms said this is normal procedure. The City and Xcel will use those 90 days to negotiate the best plan for moving forward.

      "If there is going to be an increase, we want it to be as small as it could possibly be," Simms said.