Tri States Public Radio Staff
Aldermen Not Sold on Idea
Mon April 23, 2012
No Electric Aggregation in Macomb
Macomb won't be joining the list of Illinois communities going on the open market to buy electricity in bulk for consumers.
A 2010 Illinois law allows municipalities to engage in electric aggregation and presumably secure cheaper prices for residents and small businesses.
Residents of Ipava, Table Grove, and Canton voted in favor of such plans during the March election.
But Macomb aldermen feel there is no evidence of significant savings.
“If this works, this is the first time I've seen a layer of bureaucracy added to the equation and it got cheaper,” said Third Ward Alderman Lou Gilbert.
Fifth Ward Alderman Dave Dorsett said he has heard little about the issue from citizens.
“We have asked more than once for our constituents to weigh in with us as to whether or not they wished us to pursue this path. To the best of my knowledge, there has been at best a dozen folks weigh in one way or another,” Dorsett said.
He also said anyone can make an independent contract with the electricity provider of his/her choice. He questioned whether the city should inject itself into the matter.
Sixth Ward Alderman Tim Lobdell pointed out such a plan would require a significant time investment from city staff.
“We're already stretched thin. We've cut back on staff,” Lobdell said. “There's no (revenue) stream here to pay for it.”