Sterling OKs electricity contract, residents to pay less
Citizens will save about 36 percent, officials estimate
STERLING – Sterling residents soon will be paying less for their electricity – about 36 to 37 percent less, city officials said Monday.
The City Council unanimously approved Akron, Ohio-based FirstEnergy Solutions to be the city’s new electricity supplier for 2 years.
Morrison approved the same company at its meeting June 25.
The average Sterling household, which uses 700 kilowatt hours of electricity a month, will see a savings of $24.41 on its monthly bill, Mike Mudge of Oregon-based Rock River Energy said.
“In the next few weeks, people will begin receiving letters at home asking if they would like to opt out of the program,” City Manager Scott Shumard said. “If people choose not to opt out, they stay in the program.”
In 6 or 7 weeks, the city will switch suppliers, and people will begin to see a savings of about 36 to 37 percent, Shumard said.
“It was more or less a win-win solution for everybody. I think the citizens will obviously see direct savings in their bills, and for us, that means more money staying locally in the economy.
“I don’t know if there’s a down side to anything here.”
Also Monday night, the council voted to repeal and replace the tree ordinance passed in December.
The new ordinance splits a section into two separate parts to distinguish between trees on private and public property. It also changes a section to include a method for evaluating damage to public trees and to assess penalties.
Hadley Skeffington-Vos, Shumard’s assistant, said the city is putting in place all the pieces required to become a Tree City.
To be designated a Tree City, cities must have a tree board, a tree ordinance, an educational forestry program and an Arbor Day observation or proclamation, Skeffington-Vos said. In addition to passing the ordinance, the city already has a tree board; holds regular meetings and celebrates Arbor Day.
The city will apply to become a Tree City by the end of the year, she said. Winning the designation would show “that the city is dedicated to preserving trees in the city,” she said.
“It would be a great honor for the city, for staff and for the council to be awarded this recognition.”
The Sterling Police Department and City Council also presented four “Saved by the Belt” awards Monday.
The award, presented on behalf of the Illinois Traffic Safety Challenge, recognizes citizens “who by wearing a safety belt escaped death or serious injury.”
The recipients were Edward Wright and Ava Lehman, both of Sterling, and Sally Pennell and Jeanne Depuy, both of Rock Falls.