By SAODAT ASANOVA-TAYLOR
Capital News Service
LANSING – Municipal electric utilities plan gradual rate increases this winter, and some have already implemented them to comply with federal environmental regulations and to keep local jobs. For example, Marquette Board of Light and Power will increase electric rates by 3.5 percent for customers by 2014. It will be the second rate hike for the company in 25 years. The company serves 16,300 customers in the city of Marquette and nine townships in Marquette County. It is one of 41 municipally owned utilities in the state, including ones in Sturgis, Petoskey, Traverse City, Negaunee, Holland, Zeeland, Detroit, Lansing and Harbor Springs.