07/30/14 — Towns excited about future savings

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Towns excited about future savings

By From staff reports
Published in News on July 30, 2014 1:47 PM

It will be some time before ElectriCities customers in Fremont and Pikeville could see any change in their monthly bills, but there is no question that the announcement is "a big deal," Fremont Mayor Darron Flowers said.

The deal still has to travel through the various regulatory agencies before it is approved, Flowers said.

"We are extremely pleased," Flowers said. "Still it is something that we can all be excited over. This has been in the works for roughly six months or longer between the staff of the systems. It is still a long ways off before implementation. The projection is 2016, but at least it is something that we can work toward."

Flowers expects the deal would reduce the current rates to a more realistic one, but so far the town has not received any indication of what that might be, he said.

Commercial development has not been kind to the northern part of the county, rather it is more residential growth, Flowers said.

Blake Proctor, Pikeville town manager, expects the economic development possibilities to increase as well.

"We have a tremendous debt service under ElectriCities and that is passed on to our customers in higher rates. With this deal we will be more competitive. Our debt service will be going from $268 million down to $68 million. That savings will be passed on to the customers in all the towns," Proctor said.

Proctor also indicated that the reduced debt is projected to be paid off in 10 years, which will result in further slashes in utility rates throughout the current ElectriCities system.

Pikeville officials, like those in Fremont, were unable to pin down how much savings will be passed on to customers.