WEST MILTON — At their meeting Tuesday night, the West Milton Council held the first of two public hearings to discuss utility aggregation.
In November, residents will vote on whether or not to join a gas and electric utility aggregation group.
A representative from Affordable Gas and Electric (AGE,) the consultant managing the aggregate group, provided more information about the proposal at the meeting.
If approved, West Milton would — along with other member municipalities — be able to shop for utility services from the provider that submits the lowest bid to the group.
If the measure is passed, residents would not be required to purchase their utilities from the aggregate group provider, but would be able to opt out at any time. There would be no sign up or early termination fees, the AGE representative said.
“I want people to understand that they truly can come and go as they want to,” councilman Jason Tinnerman said.
“It’s as simple as picking up the phone and saying, ‘I want out of the aggregation rate,’” the representative added.
Last November, residents of the city of Sidney and villages of Ft. Loramie, Botkins, Russia and Bradford voted to approve aggregation. According to AGE, competitive bidding for the aggregate provided residents with rates estimated to be 27 percent below the previous 12 month historical rates of Dayton Power and Light. The contracts negotiated are fixed for a full three-year term.
This November, residents of 14 communities, including West Milton, Greenville, Bellefontaine, and Covington, will vote on similar ballot measures.
The reason that this question is on the ballot this year is because the village signed an opt-in agreement with DPL, called a community savings plan, two years ago, Municipal Manager Matt Kline said. That program ends in May and it takes about six months for aggregation to kick in, he added.
If the measure passes, residents would receive informational materials — including an opt out “toolkit” — beginning in February.
Voters can visit www.affordableelectricrates.com to learn more about AGE and the ballot proposal.
Another public hearing will be held at council’s next meeting on Oct. 11.
In other business, approved a resolution recognizing Jim Wilson for his 30 years as a firefighter and 22 years as a public works employee.
Council thanked Wilson for his years of dedication to the people of West Milton and wished him well in his retirement.
Reach Cecilia Fox at firstname.lastname@example.org.