Council Update

The possible electric rate increase was once again the main topic at the recent council meeting, giving council members an outlet to share their frustrations.

This was the first reading of the proposed ordinance slated to raise rates 6% this May and 7% next May and will eliminate the Infrastructure Availability Charge (IAC) commercial customers pay to use Naperville’s electricity.

With the IAC gone, staff recommended working with the top 20 commercial customers to see if they could move some usage to non-peak times, an idea that didn’t sit well with Councilman Krause.

“If we look at the top 20, Edward Hospital isn’t going to do surgeries in the middle of the night,” said Krause. “And Phoenix Closures that does molding is running 24/7, they aren’t going to shut down. And [Districts] 203 and 204, are they going to have class at night, I don’t think so.”

Other council members, like Bob Fieseler, asked why staff didn’t act or come to them sooner, once they realized the utility was going into the red.

“I think the statements about staff being proactive are incorrect,” said Fieseler. “I think we were asleep at the switch and we’ve been asleep at the switch since 2007. I think we let a 32 member [IMEA] board decide how they were going to handle a customer [Naperville] that has 36% of their sales. We never asserted ourselves enough. We never scrutinized enough.”

The council also approved bids for improvements to the pedestrian portions of the washing street bridge and the Rita & John Harvard Playscape to be constructed at Naper Settlement.

The proposed electric ordinance could be formally approved at their next meeting on April 1. That meeting will also be the public hearing for the fiscal year 2015 Operating Budget.


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