"CARBONDALE, Ill -- In less than two months, Ameren customers could see a 40 to 50 percent jump in the cost of power. Local lawmakers have been fighting to extend the rate freeze, but so far to no avail. The city of Carbondale unveiled a plan at Tuesday's council meeting to side step the rate increase. The city wants to control power distribution within the city's limits. Carbondale Mayor Brad Cole says it's time take action, 'if someone has a better idea we will entertain it, but we have to start thinking outside the box a little.'
You need power lines to get electricity to residents, poles to hold lines, and a sub station like this to distribute the power. Ameren controls and maintains all three within Carbondale city limits. The goal of the city is to take control of the power infrastructure, ' it's kind of a unique idea, definitely out side the bounds of ordinary thought process of how to deal with the ameren increase' Cole said.
. . . The city is set to file Eminent Domain paperwork against Ameren. By [Illinois S]tate law, the city would first make an offer to the company for the power system. If an agreement isn't reached, a judge would make the final ruling. Cole says this could be the beginning of things to come, 'if we are successful, I think a lot of other cities may follow behind us and that would be a good thing.'
Cole says right now Ameren charges around 8 cents per kilowatt hour, the city could buy the same power for 5 cents from generation plants or a contracted supplier. Those savings would be passed on to taxpayers, 'if it doesn't work that's fine, but we aren't hearing any solutions and I think people will be adversely affected if we don't do something about this rate increase' Cole said.
Other local communities like Metropolis and McCleansboro run their own power systems. Metropolis Mayor Billy McDaniel says the operation runs well and energy costs are kept in check."
Mayor Cole shares his thoughts on the matter to City Council, posted on his web site.
Sounds like a good idea. The Daily Egyptian editorial is behind it, see Our Word: Fight for Power.
Can someone shed further light on the subject?