Utility Service Board approves five year agreement with Next Era Energy

Last Updated on October 31, 2016 by cassnetwork

Electric rates for Logansport residents and surrounding areas of Cass County in the Logansport Municipal Utilities will be going down just more than two years from now, if not sooner.

The Logansport Utility Service Board approved a five-year, five-month purchased power agreement with Next Era, a Florida-based utility. The agreement will succeed the existing Duke Energy agreement the utility has.

The vote to approve the contract was 4-1 with members Mike Meagher, Don Strasser, Jay King and Marty Monahan voting in favor, and Mike Laird voting against. Laird voiced a concern that a better agreement may be available if the process included a new request for proposals.

The agreement means electric rates will go down no later than Jan. 1, 2019.

Mayor Dave Kitchell said he agreed with Laird’s assessment that better power agreements that may be available if the board can renegotiate the existing Duke contract.

“My priority since Day 1 has been to secure the lowest rates available for residential, commercial and industrial customers,” Kitchell said. “This accomplishes something, but I don’t think the board went far enough, long enough. I know they’ve spent a great deal of time on this issue as have their consultants, but from an economic development standpoint, we have to offer our consumers lower rates, and do it now. Logansport has to be a place that has economic development advantages, including the lowest electric rates we can offer. That’s one of the advantages of a city owning a public utility.”

Kitchell said he will continue to ask the board for a renegotiated purchase agreement that will absorb the remaining two years of the Duke agreement.

“One of the positives of this agreement is that it does allow us flexibility to generate our own power via natural gas at our existing generating plant or through solar or wind energy,” he said. “We hope to pursue those avenues in the near future, and hopefully create some jobs in the process.”

SOURCE: News release from Logansport Mayor Dave Kitchell