Westerville City Council held a special meeting Tuesday night to allow the city to move quickly on a possible energy purchase.

Westerville City Council held a special meeting Tuesday night to allow the city to move quickly on a possible energy purchase.

Council heard the first reading of an ordinance that would secure a power contract with American Electric Power Service Corp. (AEP) for service beyond Dec. 31, 2009, when the city's current contract with AEP will expire. According to the ordinance, the agreement is for a rate not to exceed $72 per megawatt-hour.

City Manager David Collinsworth said the contract would be for a three-year term. He said the city wants to move quickly on the issue in order to take advantage of a dip in the energy market.

"Over the last three months, wholesale power supply prices have been trending lower and are now at historically low levels," Collinsworth said.

According to figures provided by Collinsworth, the contract would save the city about $11-million over three years, compared to other market offers.

"The purpose of this is to get the best power price possible for our community," council Chairwoman Diane Fosselman said.

According to Collinsworth's presentation, the total estimated cost to Westerville for the three-year contract is $104,297,575.

Council has scheduled a second special meeting for Feb. 26 to hear the second reading of the ordinance, and is expected to suspend the three-reading rule to adopt the resolution, according to Fosselman.