Brundidge power rates to increase

Published 9:27 pm Tuesday, January 6, 2009

If Brundidge residents don’t want to pay more on their February power bills, they better start conserving now.

In the Brundidge City Council meeting Tuesday, City Manager Britt Thomas announced the city’s power supplier has increased power rates, and as part of a policy already in place, that cost will likely be passed on to consumers as early as Feb. 1.

The supplying company, PowerSouth, voted to raise its rates on average 10.6 percent in the December board meeting, which would bring Brundidge residents’ bills up to possibly an average of $8 per month.

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Thomas said if a household uses 1000 hours of power, the bill would cost around $129 with the new figures. That is about $8 more than the $121 it would cost currently.

However, Thomas said these numbers may not prove true for the average household in the city, since he wasn’t sure how much power the typical home uses per month.

In the next council meeting Jan. 20, Thomas said he will provide an average cost increase broken down with these new numbers.

The energy cost adjustment policy already in place by the city will automatically pass on any cost adjustments the city receives from PowerSouth, and it isn’t required they notify the public.

That of course is unless the council opts to increase rates further or eat some of the cost themselves, but historically that’s not something they have done.

Right now, when Brundidge residents receive power bills, the costs are broken down separately for fuel and power costs. Thomas asked the council to consider passing a revenue neutral proposal that would combine the two costs but still keep rates the same.

But, even with that, they would still likely pass on PowerSouth’s increase to consumers.

Thomas said the increase will be significant, but it won’t be one that is inflated.

“Our bills are high, but they are not inflated compared to the city,” Thomas said.

District 1 Councilman Lawrence Bowden said its important residents understand the city is not hoarding any of the money from these increases.

“It’s important for people to understand this is not an increase to the city’s money,” Bowden said.

Also in their meeting, the council approved a proposal to adopt the procurement and conduct policies for their Community Block Development Grant, which will bring them one step closer to start formulating a new city plan.

And, since the city received a bid under their budget to demolish dilapidated houses, Thomas said they may be able to request additional houses be demolished under the money already granted.

But, adding to the already 11 homes scheduled to come down will have to be something the council decides on later.