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home : local news : local news July 27, 2017

5/24/2012 2:53:00 PM
Council learns about potential energy-cost savings
Daily News

Robinson City Council members Tuesday night learned more about how "electrical aggregation" works.

Javier Barrios of Good Energy explained how his company acts as a consultant to bid out electrical supply for the communities it represents.

Currently, Good Energy represents 51 municipalities in Illinois, and Barrios said each account saves about $150 to $200 annually. Residential and small business accounts are eligible for the program.

"In our last aggregation, we got our customers the lowest supply rate in the state," Barrios said. "We feel that they will have savings, and we have the numbers, the facts to back that up."

For the municipality to participate in the aggregation, a referendum must pass with a simple majority in November. Two public hearings on the matter will be held before the question is put to voters.

If it passes, residents will have to opt out if they do not want to participate. Homefield Energy, a subsidiary of Ameren, is Good Energy's current supplier, and it's customers are paying $0.04 per kilowatt hour, which is about 30 percent less then the average electrical consumer.

Ameren will continue to handle infrastructure, delivery, billing and repairs.

Good Energy will continue to work with the city, and possibly the county or other communities in the county, through the referendum and selecting a supplier.

Aldermen granted the Parks and Recreation Department permission to continue pursuing a potential $8,000 donation from an unnamed company operating in the community.

Director Mike Shimer said he was contacted by the National Recreation and Park Association about the donation. The Parks Committee submitted a list of eight project ideas. The funds aren't guaranteed, but Shimer said it looks promising that a plan to spend the funds on bleachers at the City Park would be accepted.

An expansion of the enterprise zone requested by TH3 Murphy, Inc. to include a convenience store and soon-to-be gas station on the northeast corner of Gordon Junction will be considered by the community development committee. The expansion would branch off the portion of the enterprise zone that includes Lincolnland Agri-Energy. Inclusion in the zone provides tax breaks on construction.

Aldermen approved a plan to have park employees mow abandoned lots through the summer. A lien will be placed on the properties for mowing services at the end of the year. The purchase of a new engine for a 2004 zero-turn-radius mower was approved for $2,200 from Rural King.

"We're going to inherit a lot of additional lots as these abandoned properties basically fall into our laps," Alderman Lon Smith said. "It looks like the parks department is positioned to mow these lots."

A new attorney's fee for ordinance violations that require a city attorney to appear in court was approved at $175 per billable hour.

Sealant for the Community Center was approved for purchase. The building is about 40 years old and has not been resealed since. The Street Department will provide labor.

"It's something that ought to be done more than once every 40 years," City Engineer Jeff Hillard said.

Back taxes, totaling $1,403.69, on a condemned property at 407 W. Pine were approved for payment, clearing the city's title on it. The previous owners did not pay taxes on it in the past two years.

A work cart for the Park Department, with trade-in of an old electric golf cart, was approved for $3,905. The new vehicle will be street legal under the golf cart ordinance.

A safety pad for the diving board at the city pool was approved for purchase from Cunningham Recreation, Charlotte, N.C., for $4,182.50.

A bid from Newton to purchase the old leaf vacuum was approved for $3,000.

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