Delaware News

Sunbury leaders mull renewal of aggregation program

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Sunbury leaders plan to analyze the village's energy aggregation and decide what is fiscally best for the village: to switch electric providers or to renew contracts.

Broker and energy consultant Scott Belcastro updated Village Council at its meeting Wednesday, Jan. 22, about the village's overall energy aggregation program. It has saved the village $28,000 since it began in 2012, officials said.

Currently, businesses and residents who opt into the aggregation program receive a 15-percent discount rate on energy, Belcastro said.

The village's current contract with Border Energy Inc. terminates at the end of March. Council must negotiate with the company to maintain current rates and avoid early termination fees, or negotiate with other suppliers.

Mayor Tommy Hatfield said he wants the village to keep its promise and make sure residents can opt out without a fee if they so choose.

"We did tell people this is a yearly thing, so when you sign up, you can opt back out," Hatfield said. "We said that is how it was going to work, and for us to say that is not how it is, is going to be is a pretty big deal."

Council hopes to decide in early February if it will switch suppliers or continue the contract with Border Energy.

New tornado siren

Also at last week's council meeting, Sean Miller, director of Delaware County Emergency Management Agency, discussed a new storm-warning siren for the village and the possibility of connecting the village's sirens to the city of Delaware's radio system.

Right now, the village has one working siren located at the fire department, roughly a half-mile from Town Hall. The village formerly had two other sirens, but they no longer work and replacement parts are unavailable.

"The ones we had were over 50 years old. We can get one siren centrally located that can cover the entire village," said Dave Martin, village administrator.

Miller and Martin suggested putting a new siren at the EMS building on Granville Street that will be loud enough to be heard anywhere in the village.

They also recommended connecting to the city of Delaware's radio system.

"If we are tied into their system, then that would trigger the siren, rather than depending on an individual to flip the switch," Martin said.

The siren could cost about $25,000. The village can explore various grants to help cover the cost, Martin said.

Fire Chief Jeff Wilson said the siren is only one piece of the puzzle. He hopes to use local media and available wireless providers to assist with severe weather alerts.

However, the sirens are critical and need to be placed correctly, he said.

"It is very difficult for people on the edge of that 5,500-foot radius to hear," Wilson said.

Hatfield wants to push the agency to install the siren before tornado season begins in April.

"We definitely don't want to go into the tornado season without a siren in place," Hatfield said. "There were a couple storms late in the year and people, quite frankly, were not able to hear the warning."

 

Pay raises OK'd

After a closed session at the Jan. 22 meeting, council authorized Hatfield to spend up to $40,000 on employee raises. Hatfield will evaluate employees and determine the percentage for the raises.

The mayor has a $4,000 spending limit and needed council's permission to exceed that.

Sunbury Village Council meets next at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at the village's offices, 9 E. Granville St.

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