West Side News

Prairie Township

Consultant to help spread word about aggregation program

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The Prairie Township Board of Trustees approved an agreement with a consulting firm that will help the trustees educate the public about an electricity aggregation program residents will be voting on in May.

Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker said there is no cost to the township for the help of utilities consultant Scott Belcastro with Treble LLC. Belcastro will help the public understand what the program is all about before residents cast ballots May 7.

"Staff did receive inquiries from three other firms," Hatmaker said. "(Treble LLC) would help with providing information to the public about the proposal and work with the board."

Prairie Township held preliminary discussions in November about the aggregation program that could possibly lower costs for residents.

If approved by voters in May, the township would negotiate rates with electric companies in residents' behalf, rather than the resident making the phone calls, Trustee Steve Kennedy said.

"Hopefully we will be able to get a lower rate as a township rather than you, by yourself," Kennedy said.

"At the least, you will have a township rate you can compare to other companies with."

Kennedy said residents will have the chance to vote against the proposal or opt out of the program if it is approved.

Public meetings are currently being planned prior to the May vote, he said.

Other matters

In other business of the trustees voted to join the Franklin County Health Care Benefits Program.

Hatmaker said the three-year agreement with Franklin County allows the township to join a joint health benefits program for its employees.

"There is a larger pool of people, so there is less volatility in the rates," Hatmaker said.

The next board of trustees meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 6 in the township hall, 23 Maple Drive.

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