The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

Local News

November 26, 2012

Questions emerge on electricity options

Program might not cover county’s cities, villages

DANVILLE — Different opinions have brought the Vermilion County’s recently passed electrical aggregation referendum into question.

Vermilion County and Danville voters passed a referendum in the Nov. 6 general election giving the county the right to create an electrical aggregation program for residents throughout the county.

The county met with its electrical aggregate provider, Integrys Energy Co., following rumors of an objection to the recently passed referendum.

Vermilion County Board Chairman Jim McMahon said the meeting came on the heels of word there might be a challenge to the referendum — specifically as to which residents it includes.

McMahon said he had been told there was opposition to the referendum that questioned whether the county referendum could include citizens in Danville or if the city had to pass its own referendum to approve the program.

He disputes the idea, saying the public act that allows for electrical aggregation programs does not indicate only certain areas would fall under the scope of the referendum.

“We’ve checked with counsel,” he said. “Lawyers for Integrys say the law is clear.”

However, Danville Mayor Scott Eisenhauer said he was contacted just prior to Election Day by Ameren, whose representative voiced the concern that the referendum would only cover unincorporated areas of the county and not the city and other municipalities.

That, according to Eisenhauer, would require Danville and other municipalities to pass their own electrical aggregation referendums.

“What I’ve been trying to do since then is get some definitive legal opinion from Illinois Commerce Commission or the attorney involved with electrical aggregation,” he said. “The majority of opinions I’ve received so far indicate that the county-wide referendum applies to unincorporated areas.”

Eisenhauer said he has not received a final legal opinion on the issue, but hopes to have one in the next 10 days.

The referendum passed in the city by nearly a 2-1 margin, 6,512 votes to 3,326 votes. The county was closer, with 9,818 residents voting to approve and 8,521 voting against.

The deadline is the first week of January if Danville officials decide to put an electrical aggregation referendum on the April election ballot. Eisenhauer said the issue would first have to pass through the city’s committees and council.

At this point, neither Danville nor Vermilion County have been informed of an objection to the referendum or received formal notification regarding a legal challenge to the referendum. Under the state statute, the county must receive customer data from Ameren in order to set up the program and officials have not been denied that information, McMahon said.

Assistant State’s Attorney Bill Donahue provided legal opinion for the city and county when questions first emerged about the referendum. In his interpretation, the county has the authority unless one of the municipalities rejects the idea of the program.

“To me, unless someone in the county registers an objection before it gets on the ballot, then the county has the authority to act,” he said.

Donahue added he has spoken to attorneys who deal with government situations and was told the statute was not written well.

McMahon noted no problems with the legality of the referendum were brought up prior to the general election.

He said Vermilion County is the first county to have a successful referendum pass that envelops the entire county.

“I’m prepared to take this issue all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court,” he said. “The law seems very clear.”

Under the aggregation program, the company buys electricity for large groups and thus receives a lower rate. It passes that lower rate along to the groups it represents, such as the county. Integrys was selected by the county to handle the electrical aggregation program if the referendum passed.

Under terms of the statute, Vermilion County must submit a plan of operation to the Illinois Commerce Commission. The aggregation program, once approved, would include a fixed rate from Integrys and go into effect in January.

The program would be an opt-out program, allowing people to formally indicate they do not want to take part, if they so choose.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • School sign-up begins

    July 29, 2014

  • CRIS offers breakfast

    July 29, 2014

  • Police, Fire Reports

    July 29, 2014

  • NWS-CN 07-20 Foster mug County clerk on hunt for general election judges DANVILLE — The Vermilion County Clerk’s office is looking for a few good men and women for this year’s general election.On Thursday, Vermilion County Board members certified the county’s first group of election judges for the November general electio

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • NWS-CN 07-29 Talking photo Report: Medicare looking better WASHINGTON — Medicare’s financial future is looking brighter despite a growing wave of baby boomers reaching retirement.Getting relief from a slowdown in health care spending, the program’s giant hospital trust fund won’t be exhausted until 2030, the

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police Reports Incidents reported to police include:DanvilleFriday:Battery and obstructing an officer in the 1600 block of East English Street.Burglary at The Juke, 1214 E. Main St.Saturday:Theft in the 1500 block of Oak Street.Vehicle burglary in the 100 block of

    July 29, 2014

  • Two hurt in weekend shootings in Danville DANVILLE — Two victims are listed in good condition following a pair of weekend shooting incidents in Danville.Danville Director of Public Safety Larry Thomason confirmed the shootings, which took place around 8:15 p.m. Friday and just before 5 a.m.

    July 29, 2014

  • Fire Calls Firefighters responded to the following calls:Saturday, 10:08-10:23 a.m. — A medical call in the 200 block of Delaware Avenue.Saturday, 10:47-10:54 a.m. — Assist Medix in the first block of East Harrison Street.Saturday, 11:37-11:49 a.m. — A medical

    July 29, 2014

  • Library sets program for Farmers' Market

    July 28, 2014

  • Reception celebrates truck

    July 28, 2014

E-edition
Spring 2014 Photos


Buy these photos and more via Smugmug

AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth
Must Read