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Trustees won’t put electric aggregation on the ballot

JACKSONTOWN – Thanks, but no thanks, said the Licking Township Trustees Monday night. Trustees agreed none of the three was interested in placing an electric power aggregation issue on the November ballot asking voters if they would like to aggregate their electric demand in order to get a reduced price.

According to the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio, aggregation is when a group of customers join together to form a single, larger customer that buys energy for its members. A large buying group may be able to get a better price for the group members than residents could get on their own.

In January, Joe Garrett, aggregation specialist with Trebel LLC, visited the trustees to explain the process to them. Trustee President Joe Hart said Garrett followed up with him after the presentation and Hart told Garrett the trustees had no further interest in discussing it. Monday night, all trustees agreed there was no interest between them.

Hart said a Union Township Trustee called him to say Union Township secured a 23 percent reduction in power costs for AEP customers by entering into a contract with electrical supplier IGS through Trebel LLC. Still, Licking Township Trustees agreed they didn’t wish to force any program on Licking Township residents, even if it saved them money. If residents are really interested in saving money on their electric bill, they are free to explore it on their own.

“I don’t want to infringe upon anyone’s rights,” said Trustee Dave Miller. He said trustees once proposed creating a township trash district and then taking bids for one hauler to collect all residential waste, and residents overwhelmingly turned it down. Miller said residents told him they didn’t want the trustees choosing a trash service for them; it was their choice, and their choice only. “I felt it was the same way with the electric,” he said.

In other township news:

• Trustees agreed to work with Dawes Arboretum to remove more than 65 dying and dangerous trees along White Chapel Road. “Dawes wants them cut down,” Miller said. He said there’s a concern the trees could fall on power lines or even onto White Chapel Road traffic. “What if it falls on a school bus?” Miller said. He said if Dawes and the township work together to pull down all the trees at once, it could save the township $4,000 to $5,000 over trying to pull them down in small numbers over time. Plus, pulling them all down now increases safety. Trustees estimated the entire project should cost around $10,000, with the township and Dawes sharing the cost.

• Miller said the township has plenty of salt now, should there be more significant snowfall this year. He said supplies were running low, but more than 130 tons were recently delivered. Miller said the township has used 200 tons of salt thus far. Also, during the extremely cold weather, the township uses grit with brine salt, which actually saves the township money as the girt is less expensive than salt. “Below zero, the salt won’t work, anyway,” he said.

• Although late in the season, Miller said the township should have a new snow plow truck soon. Miller said trustees expected the truck earlier in the winter, but there were delays.

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