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Local

Sterling electric customers see savings

City OKs bond sales for CGH expansion

STERLING – Almost all Sterling households eligible to participate in municipal aggregation are doing so, which means almost all are benefiting from the savings.

City Council members received an update on the results of electrical aggregation at their meeting Monday night.

Also Monday, the council agreed to issue bonds to allow CGH Medical Center to expand.

Single-family households in Sterling taking part in municipal aggregation saw their first savings in their October bill: They are paying 4.67 cents per kilowatt hour, compared with the ComEd rate of 8.32 cents, a savings of 44 percent, said Mike Mudge of Oregon-based Rock River Energy Services.

All told, participants are expected to save $400 a year, Mudge said, adding that 96.6 percent of all eligible Sterling accounts have enrolled in the program.

That puts Sterling slightly above participation rates in other communities, which Mudge said is between 90 percent and 95 percent.

Those who opted out can change their minds and enroll in the program.

Alderman Barry Cox, who acknowledged he was initially skeptical of the electrical aggregation program, said he was pleased to see savings on his most recent energy bill.

The city also approved a 3-year agreement with Exelon Energy to serve as the city’s electrical supplier for 13 ComEd sewer accounts. Doing so will save the city $132,562 over the course of 3 years.

CGH plans to expand its Emergency Department as part of a $7 million project. To pay for the work, the city-owned hospital asked to refinance $26 million in existing CGH debt and issue $7.5 million in new general obligation bonds. 

The hospital also will install a new air-conditioning system and renovate its digestive disease center. CGH opened a new cardiac catheterization lab in August.

Also Monday, Sterling Fire Department. Lt. Mike Wheeler was promoted to captain, taking the place of Capt. Brad Cassens, who retired, and firefighter Ed Ramos was promoted to lieutenant.

Free tree care guides

Also Monday night, the City Council approved the Sterling Tree Board's new tree guide, which contains advice on pruning and planting techniques and how to identity strong vs. weak tree branches.

The tree guide, part of the city's goal to become a "Tree City USA" site, is available at www.sterling-il.gov by clicking on the "Services" tab and then "Trees."

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