Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

January 30, 2013

Olive Hill Council begins work on new electric rate ordinance

By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer
Journal-Times

Jan. 30, 2013 — Olive Hill City Council held a working session Monday night to consider proposals for a new electric rate ordinance.

At the session’s outset, City Attorney George Hogg advised the Council to avoid speaking in detail about activities of the past as it could have an impact in ongoing litigation filed against the city alleging consumer fraud and unjust enrichment.

“What’s happened has happened. It’s time to move forward and allow the litigation to take care of itself,” said Hogg.

City Clerk Cheri James and Assistant City Clerk Angela Owens provided the Council with billing estimates using the new rate formula.

According to their calculations, the rate change would have minimal effect on the electric utility’s bottom line as it would bring in only slightly less revenue.

The deliberations were intense at times, with Council members repeatedly expressing their intention to separate their actions from those of the previous administration.

Council member Angie Johnson was specifically curious about how the rate-setting process had been handled in the past.

When she questioned city employees about their specific duties, however, they responded with silence and Hogg commented that those matters should be discussed in closed or executive session.

The Council ultimately agreed to move forward in implementing the rate formula recommended in a recent rate study conducted by Power System Engineering.

Under the new structure, commercial and industrial customers will see a slight decrease in their rates, while residential customers should see an average increase of about $2 per month.

The new rate formula will not take effect until City Council passes a new rate ordinance.

A public hearing on the new rates is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Olive Hill senior citizens center.

Customers will be able to voice their concerns at that time.

City Council will hold a special meeting to consider the new rates immediately following the public hearing.

Joe Lewis can be reached at jlewis@journal-times.com or by telephone at 286-4201.