COVINGTON — Covington Council held another informational meeting before their regular meeting Monday evening to discuss the electric and gas aggregation programs that residents will be voting on during the Nov. 8 election.
“What residents are voting on Nov. 8 … is simply just a vote to allow the village to be pulled together as a whole to negotiate for electric and gas rates as a community instead of doing so as individual at your home, which you can currently do,” Jordan Haarman, procurement manager of Affordable Gas and Electric (AGE), said.
AGE is the consultant and broker for the village of Covington and the unincorporated areas of Newberry Township’s possible aggregation programs.
Covington will also be grouped together with a dozen other communities to increase their buying power.
Residents will not be required to take part in the aggregation programs. They will have the option to opt out of the program or opt back in with no fees that AGE would charge.
The electric and/or gas rates would be negotiated for a term of two or three years. Haarman said that they would recommend a term of three years as they expect market rates for electric and gas prices to increase. The rates that AGE would negotiate for the village through this aggregation program would be fixed for that period of time and would not increase or decrease with the changes in the market.
If residents decide to participate, their bills will also continue to come in the same format now, such as through DP&L for electric bills. Budget billing will also still be available.
“They’re voting on two issues,” Mayor Ed McCord said.
McCord and Haarman reminded everyone that the electric and gas aggregation programs will appear separately on the Nov. 8 ballot, so residents will have to remember to vote on both of them.
During their regular meeting, the council accepted two donations from the Covington Community Chest on behalf of the village. The first donation was for $10,698.23 for the cost of new playground equipment from Gametime to be used in the community park by the small ball diamond. The second donation was for $3,500 for the cost of a new speed-monitoring trailer for the Covington Police Department. Chief Lee Harmon said that the current one is 15 years old.
The council also approved a number of resolutions, first authorizing leasing recycling toters from TFC Financing. The equipment cost is $19,777.21, and the village will be making a payment of $10,000 upfront. It will be a three-year lease with an interest rate of 3.10 percent.
The council then approved renewing their liability insurance with the Hylant Insurance Ohio Plan at a cost of $28,536. The village also received a bid from USI Insurance Public Entity Plan for a cost of $25,323, but Village Administrator Mike Busse recommended staying with the Ohio Plan as the Public Entity Plan did not include tail coverage.
The council also approved updating their curfew ordinance for minors, changing the curfew to between midnight and 6 a.m. versus the old curfew of between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Exceptions are still in place for minors in the company of a parent or guardian, as well as minors who are employed or attending a function.
In other new business, the council approved purchasing hams for the village employees for the holiday season at a total cost of $700. They also held the first reading of a resolution for the 2017 sidewalk repair program.
Other reminders given during the meeting:
• The Halloween Costume Contest will be held on Wright Street on Oct. 25, at 7 p.m.
• Trick-or-Treat night will be Oct. 31, from 6-8 p.m.
Reach Sam Wildow at firstname.lastname@example.org or (937) 451-3336