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Tiskilwa looks at electric aggregation

TISKILWA — Some Tiskilwa residents had some questions Tuesday about the electric aggregation issue on the Nov. 6 ballot.

Mayor Randy Philhower told the five residents attending the Tiskilwa Village Board meeting that if residents approve the issue on Nov. 6, the village board will find a company to solicit bids from electric suppliers to get a cheaper rate for village residents and other electric users eligible to be included in the program.

If the issue passes, the company selected by the Tiskilwa Village Board will have to hold two public hearings to explain the program and to give an estimate on how much will be saved a year by each electric user in the village. Philhower said a company that came to the village board in February estimated that the average homeowner would save $150 to $175 a year in this program.

If a resident doesn’t like the company selected or the price, Philhower said they can opt out of the electric aggregation program and keep Ameren or choose another company to get their electricity.

“Nobody is bound by the board’s decision,” he said. “People who have all electric houses don’t qualify for this program because they already get lower rates, and big industrial users aren’t eligible.”

The village would enter into a one-, two- or three-year contract with an electric provider. Philhower thought the village would seek a two-year contract because a longer contract would have higher rates due to the uncertainty of the cost of electricity.

Ameren would still send out monthly bills, maintain the power poles and read the meters.

Some small commercial users have saved big dollars by going with another company to provide them electricity, reported Philhower, who also said the village would save money with its electric usage at village-owned buildings.

If a person can get a cheaper rate for their electricity than the one the village gets, they aren’t bound by the village board’s selection of a certain company, Philhower added.

In other business, board members approved making a $250 donation to Community Partners Against Substance Abuse (CPASA), an organization that operates in Bureau, Putnam and LaSalle counties designed to help prevent substance abuse among high school students.

Philhower said the money would be worth it if one or two students get off drugs as a result of this program. Philhower said he will request the fire district donate to this program as well in his role as the Tiskilwa fire chief, since emergency personnel have to deal with young people involved in accidents as a result of substance abuse.

Philhower also suggested an ordinance be passed requiring all waitresses and bartenders working in Tiskilwa be certified and go through an educational program to tell them about the potential liabilities of serving alcohol to a person who is already drunk.

Trustee Steve McKinney said he wanted to talk with bar owners in Tiskilwa about this issue before making a decision on passing an ordinance. He said he wasn’t opposed to this ordinance, but wanted to get input from these people in order to make a more informed decision.

Philhower said he has no problem with any board members talking to the owners of the two bars in town before next month’s meeting.

Philhower also said the trick-or-treat hours in Tiskilwa will be from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Halloween.

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