Olney city council approves new electricity deal
The Olney City Council unanimously approved a motion to sign a new electricity contract on Monday, July 25, at the Council’s scheduled meeting. The new contract will start after the expiration of the current contract. The current contract expires on April 20, 2019. The new contract would extend the city to 2023 with a new provider and provide the city rates locked in at today’s low prices for the next seven years.
Bob Forman with Priority Power spoke to the council about the benefits of signing a new contract. The current energy market was the reason for working out a contract extension. Olney’s current supplier is Reliant, but the new deal would be with TXU starting in 2019. The city’s highest cost under the new agreement would be delivery charges. The decision to extend at the present market rate was a swift decision for the council after hearing Forman’s presentation.
The city council also looked at City Secretary applications again. The council will start phone interviews with about seven or eight candidates, and then narrow the field down to about three candidates that they will bring in front of the city council.
The preliminary budget was also discussed again. The potential necessity of budget cuts and tax increases were discussed to make up for a $68,094 loss in revenue. It was also mentioned that notes could be moved to cover a good part of the deficit, however, after that is done the loss in revenue will still need to be made up for future years.
“We won’t have this left in the pipeline,” Olney Councilman Tom Parker said. “We will need to make changes going forward.”
Water rate increases would be the most likely target to help make up the deficit. City Administrator Danny Parker also suggested that the city take off the Kickapoo Lake fee on the water bill since the lake is now full.
The budget is not finalized and talks of increases are only discussion at this point. The city will have a better grip in the coming weeks on what changes will need to be made to ensure that the budget balances