August 8, 2011
FORT SHAWNEE — Village council approved legislation Monday to join Allen County in seeking voter approval to aggregate electricity and bargain for better rates.Allen County commissioners voted to put the issue on the ballot last Wednesday. Fort Shawnee council needed to hold a special meeting on the issue to meet the Aug. 10 board of election deadline. Because of Ohio electric deregulation enacted about 10 years ago, counties and other legislative bodies are able to join together when buying electricity. Companies transmitting the electric would not change if electric is aggregated, but commissioners and village officials could enter an agreement with another company generating electric at a cheaper cost. “It’s a way in this case for residents to save a little money on their electric bill,” Mayor Dennis Shaffer said.Shaffer said he spoke with county commissioners prior to the meeting and was informed Fort Shawnee would need to pass its own legislation to collectively buy electricity. Legislation commissioners passed only covers unincorporated areas of Allen County.“We had to do it separately from what the county had even though we’re joining, basically, with the county program because we’re separate in our own government,” Shaffer said.If passed in November, residents would have the option to opt out of the program. County commissioners previously stated there was interest in a First Energy Systems discount that took three percent off the rate of electricity generation for three years. Before adopting any aggregation plan, there must be at least two public hearings.Councilman Jack Miller was absent for vacation and excused at the meeting. Council did not excuse Ronald Hesseling, who was absent for unknown reasons.You can comment on this story at www.LimaOhio.com.