Wednesday, June 28, 2000

Lebanon electric rates to go up

Council OKs hike on 2nd try

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Residents will see their electric rates rise beginning in late July after a 20-percent increase passed City Council on its second try Tuesday night.

        “The electric company, totally separate from the telecommunications company, will go into the red next year” without the increase, said Councilman Mark Flick.

        The average residential bill, for 1,000 kilowatt hours, will go from $61.30 to $73.56 a month. That's still less than the $80.89 paid by Cinergy customers elsewhere in the Tristate.

        Rates in Lebanon will increase an additional 2 percent in January and 1 percent each year beginning in 2002.

        The ordinance was approved 5-2.

        “I think the perception out there is that we're spending, spending and wildly spending,” said Councilwoman Amy Brewer, who voted against the rate increase along with James Reinhard.

        Mr. Reinhard also questioned whether city officials had improperly promised city electricity to two companies moving into the city's new industrial park.

        There is currently no electrical service at the new park, which is closer to Cinergy's lines than it is to the city lines.

        Also Tuesday, City Council approved a contract with GPD Associates of Akron that will allow the company to resume preliminary work on an expansion of the electric department. Work that had been going on since September was halted this spring after controversy erupted over who had authorized it.

        City Council also approved moving money into several projects:

        •$28,000 for Rainbow over Lebanon, a hot-air balloon race scheduled for Aug. 19.

        •$62,000 to pave the Lebanon Sports Complex parking lot at McClure Road.

        •$100,000 for the early 1800s house at 27 N. Mechanic St. that the city is trying to buy and repair.


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