The Commercial-News, Danville, IL

February 9, 2013

County board to hear electrical update

BY BRIAN L. HUCHEL
Commercial-News

DANVILLE — Integrys Energy representatives will be on hand Wednesday to discuss the status of Vermilion County’s electrical aggregation program with county board members.

Residents voted to pass a referendum in November intending to allow electrical aggregation for residents throughout the county. A ruling by the Illinois Power Agency, however, reduced that coverage to only residents in unincorporated areas.

Vermilion County Board Chairman Gary Weinard said the county is at a point where “there is a lot of confusion.”

“Hopefully they’re going to be able to give us a little bit of an idea from their perspective of what happened” with the electrical aggregation plan, he said.

Once restrictions on the November referendum were determined, Integrys announced it would extend the same rate it was getting for unincorporated residents to those people living in eligible cities, villages and municipalities.

Weinard said there have been rumblings of some communities ready to join the county at Integrys and he hopes Wednesday’s presentation will verify that.

Earlier this week, the city of Hoopeston announced it was considering New York-based Good Energy if voters there pass an electrical aggregation referendum on April 9.

Weinard said the county asked for Wednesday’s presentation as a way to also get a current understanding of the electrical aggregation program’s status among residents in the county’s unincorporated areas.

Also at Wednesday’s meeting:

Board members will vote on annual aggregate letting of materials for township road commissioners and the county.

Weinard said the process — which used motor fuel tax funds — is intended to help the townships by bringing all the needs together at once.

“If each had to conduct their own bids process, the likelihood of having six or eight bidders come in is not good,” he said.

Board members will vote to put another $77,250 toward the project for masonry work on the original Public Safety Building.

The project focuses brickwork and caulking on the three sides of the original PSB, including the east side of the building where bricks have expanded more over the years than expected as a result of heat.

The money will come from the $100,000 the county gives the Public Building Commission each year for capital improvements.

FYI

Because of Lincoln’s Birthday on Tuesday, the Vermilion County Board will meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday on the second floor of the Courthouse annex, 6 N. Vermilion St.