The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

January 8, 2013

Georgetown residents to vote on electricity program

BY APRIL EVANS
Commercial-News

GEORGETOWN — Residents in Georgetown will once again find a question about electrical aggregation on their ballots when they visit the polls this spring.

Aldermen approved Monday to place a referendum on the April ballot asking Georgetown voters if they want to be a part of an electrical aggregation program as a group. A similar question was asked to voters in the fall, but under the umbrella of the county as a whole. However, it was later found that the referendum only covered unincorporated areas, not villages or cities.

Mayor Dennis Lucas said Tuesday that time to place a referendum on the spring ballot was running out.

If approved by voters, Georgetown will use Integrys Energy to supply residents with power at a secured rate. Residents who do not wish to be involved in the aggregate must opt-out by contacting Integrys, with everyone automatically being switched from Ameren to Integrys.

The city recently approved to have Integrys Energy supply the city with electricity to power its municipal buildings and streetlights. They now have a three-year contract that locks them in at 4.5 cent per kilowatt hour, which will translate into $20,000 savings a year for them. They were paying around 7 cents per kWh through Ameren, who continues to deliver the electricity, read meters and respond to emergencies.

While the fall referendum passed in the City of Danville by nearly a 2-1 margin, 6,512 votes to 3,326 votes, it was not as popular with voters out in the county. Outside Danville, the fall referendum still passed though it was much closer, with 9,818 voting in favor and 8,521 voting against the aggregation.

“It will be in the hands of the citizens of Georgetown on whether they want to pass it or not,” Lucas said.

In other business, aldermen:

Heard an area gun club is one step closer to breaking ground. The Georgetown Otto Newlin Shooting Range will be located on the grounds of the Oubache Park, about a mile west of Georgetown, where they are leasing four parcels of land from the city for 25 years at $1 a year.

The group, currently a handful of enthusiasts, had to become a non-profit organization before getting the deal to go through city attorneys. The city now has their proof of insurance and lease agreement in hand and hopes to have a meeting to move forward soon so the group can begin work this spring.

Two of the organizers, Keith Walker and Kenny West, said they will begin the first year with a 50-foot by 20-foot pistol range. The second year, a rifle range will be installed. Cost to join will be a $100 annual membership.

Will allow the Planning Commission to purchase an engraved name stone for the Veterans Honor Roll, which is located on the southeast corner of the main square in town. The cost is $2,750 and it will be paid from the Planning Commission improvement fund.

Appointed Cathy Jenkins and Mitch Weaver to the Planning Commission. Lucas said two vacancies remain. Any resident interested in serving may contact him for information.

What’s next

The Georgetown City Council changed its next meeting to 7 p.m. January 22 at the city hall.