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Board looks at electrical aggregation referendum

PRINCETON – The Bureau County Board is considering putting an electrical aggregation referendum on the April ballot for voters in unincorporated areas of the county.

Rock River Energy Services representative Chuck Dana met recently with the law committee, said its chairman, Mary Jane Marini.

Rock River Energy representatives addressed the board in August, asking for a referendum on the November ballot, but at that time, board members said more time was needed to research the issue.

If it passes, the county will have the authority to combine households and small businesses into an electricity-buying group, resulting in increased buying power and more competitive prices. Those who wish to can opt out of the program.

When asked about the expense to the county if voters approved a referendum, board Chairman Dale Anderson said if voters approved the referendum, the county would have to hire a firm to go out and bid energy rates for residents in unincorporated areas.

After further discussion, Marini said the Law Committee would like more time to discuss the matter before bringing a recommendation to the board.

The county board is expected to revisit the issue at its Jan. 8 meeting. A decision would have to be made by Jan. 22 to make the April 9 ballot.

The Whiteside County Board voted unanimously last month to put a referendum on electrical aggregation on its April ballot.

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