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3 percent savings on electricity in Dixon

Council speaks against latest recommended deal for Riverfront manager

Published: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 2:34 p.m. CDT

DIXON – Residents could be looking at a 3 percent savings in their electricity bill thanks to municipal aggregation.

The Dixon City Council placed on file Monday for public review a recommendation to make Verde Energy its electricity supplier for 2 years. It will vote to finalize the supplier and the terms of the deal May 20.

Also, the majority of city commissioners spoke against the Riverfront Commission’s recommendation to pay Riverfront Executive Director Kay Miller a $600 a month salary.

Verde would supply electricity at 5.2979 cents per kilowatt hour in year one, 5.8472 cents in year two, and 6.0839 cents in year three if Dixon opts for a 3-year contract. Verde’s rates were the lowest in each year of six bidders.

Marni Henert, of Rock River Energy Services, said those rates are lower than the maximum rate the city’s current supplier ComEd can charge, which is 6.011 cents per kilowatt hour.

Henert said the new rates could start around July or August.

Not only did Verde supply electricity at the lowest rate, but also it provides a rate guarantee and no early termination fee, Henert said.

A rate guarantee stipulates that if ComEd’s rate is lower than Verde’s agreed-upon rate, Verde will adjust its rate to at least match ComEd’s. Residents also can opt out of the municipal agreement at any time at no cost.

Residents will be given the option to opt out before the new supplier’s rates kick in. Also, residents who have signed with an alternative supplier will be able to opt in, however, they may face a termination fee with those suppliers.

Verde is the supplier for Franklin Grove, Paw Paw and Lanark, Henert said.

Commissioners were divided Monday on whether to enter into a 2-year, or 3-year agreement. Commissioners Colleen Brechon and Dennis Considine preferred a 3-year deal.

“I felt like three years would be a win-win,” said Brechon, noting the rate was guaranteed to at least match ComEd’s in the event that ComEd’s rate was less expensive. “Also, that would move any new negotiations into the second year of a newly elected council, rather than having something come up right after they come in.”

Brechon said she will continue to review the terms until a vote is taken.

As for Miller’s contract, commissioners David Blackburn, Considine and Brechon said they are not in favor of increasing Miller’s pay to $600 a month. The City Council expects to vote on it May 20.

Miller has been working without a contract under the former agreement for $200 per month. In November, the City Council voted 4-1 against a raise that would have given her $800 a month.

Brechon said she would like for Miller to set working hours and make them public, before she votes on the agreement. Blackburn said, from the information the Riverfront has provided, Miller has not raised enough money to warrant giving her $600 a month.

Considine voted against placing the item on file Monday.

Mayor Jim Burke said it’s time to vote up or down, one way or the other, on the matter. The city’s attorney said commissioners can make adjustments to the recommendation placed on file.

In other items, commissioners elected to place on file a bid from Max Corp. to paint the water tower on the city’s north side for $305,200, as well as purchase a 2011 bucket truck still under warranty at about $72,000.

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