Warren could be looking for new electrical supplier, board hears

The Town of Warren could be looking for a new supplier of electricity, members of the Warren Town Council learned during their meeting on Monday, June 12.

The town currently contracts with AEP to purchase electricity wholesale, and the power is then distributed to customers by the town electric utility. That contract ends in five years.

The Indiana and Michigan Municipal Distributors Association (IMMDA) is working to negotiate a new contract with AEP, but those negotiations are not going well, reported financial consultant Greg Guerrettaz, of Financial Solutions Group. IMMDA is now investigating other suppliers.

If IMMDA — which includes 13 small communities who purchase power wholesale from AEP — can’t work out a new contract  with AEP, Warren will have several options to proceed.

Those options include continuing the town’s membership with IMMDA and agreeing to the contract it works out, whether with AEP or a new supplier; negotiating alone; or joining in a group with larger communities.

Council members will discuss those options later.

The council agreed to apply for a state Community Crossings grant that would pay for a large portion of the cost of reconstructing 11th Street and adding storm drains to direct stormwater to a nearby creek.

The town is applying for a grant in the amount of $886,900. The total cost of the project is estimated at $975,590, and the town would fund the difference.

The 11th Street project is planned for 2018.

Council also established a stormwater utility, which will be funded through a $5 fee charged to each residential customer as well as fees charged to business and other customers based on the amount of those customers’ impervious areas.

Income from those fees will pay for projects designed to keep stormwater out of the wastewater treatment plant. Currently, those projects are funded by the sanitary sewer fund, but because Warren’s stormwater and sewer lines are separated, a dedicated stormwater fund is required, Clerk-Treasurer Marilyn Morrison said.

Customers will see the stormwater fee on their bills toward the end of the year, she said.