BUCKEYE LAKE – Buckeye Lake Village businesses may see a reduction in their electric bills. Tony Szymczak, manager of electric sales for Border Energy, told council members Monday night that his company could save village businesses roughly 24 percent on electricity through July 2015.
Buckeye Lake Fiscal Officer Mary Jennings said she contacted several energy companies to find reduced rates on electricity and liked what Border Energy had to offer. She emphasized that the savings would only apply to village businesses, not to residential customers.
“Ohio is a deregulated state,” said Szymczak. Customers can decide for themselves who transmits their power, he said. Szymczak said Border Energy can purchase electricity below AEP’s rates which serves most of the region, and pass the savings to customers. He said if the village agrees to work with Border Energy, electric bills would be paid to AEP as usual. There would be no separate billing. “AEP just turns around and pays us,” said Szymczak. He added that Border Energy also offers a plan that guarantees its customers would pay 10 percent less than AEP’s rate across the board.
Council member Jeryne Peterson said she’d like to investigate Border Energy’s background before committing to anything.
“If they go out of business, what’s the downside? We go back to AEP,” said council member Barry Herron.
“(Jennings) took the initiative to do this to save some money,” said council president Charlene Hayden. “We need to follow through with something.”
Jennings said she contacted other energy providers, but Border Energy impressed her the most.
“Since we have heard the presentation from Border Energy, I would like for council members to think about whether or not you want to hear any further presentations on this,” said Hayden. “Our meeting (the Border Energy) representative today was a good one. We do need to keep in mind that we want to look into our options, but was also have to keep our time cost effective since (Jennings) is doing a great deal of the leg work.”
Council will make its decision at a future meeting.
In other council news:
• Resident Charlotte Bassnet said Buckeye Lake Village is full of empty lots following the demolition of uninhabitable houses and she wondered how people outside the community could be made aware of this and encouraged to build new homes and businesses. “People outside of Buckeye Lake don’t know the positive aspects,” she said. Bassnet said the village could have new and well maintained homes as opposed to some of the homes in the village now. “Any time I drive down Union Street, I shake my head,” she said. “It’s terrible. People aren’t straightening out their lots.”
• Resident Kay Allen said she wished people coming to watch the BLASST fireworks in Buckeye Lake would have more respect for residents’ properties. “We had half a bag of trash in our front yard,” she said.
Hayden said in the future the village could place more trash re- ceptacles around the community.
• Council member Clay Carroll responded to criticism from a past meeting that council members sometimes don’t maintain eye contact with community members during the public comment periods of council meetings. “People are making notes,” he said. “I can’t write and look at the same time.”
Council member Michelle McCormick said she’d rather not “stare people down” while making comments to council.
“I’m writing diligently,” said Peterson.