HOISINGTON — The Hoisington Utility Task Force met on Tuesday and reviewed the findings of Sawvel and Assoc. Inc., the engineering firm hired to look into the electric utility and find savings if possible.
The good news is that the Hoisington City Council approved an electric rate cut beginning in January. This will amount to about 7 percent off the overall bill.
“This is a great direction,” said Bill Lowry, utility task member. “I think there needs to be a target.”
So far, Sawvel has not made a recommendation in regards to keeping or selling the utility. They would like the city to wait until the reductions for this year and the cut for 2014 are in place to see if Hoisington electric can be more competitive.
In addition, the city will be gather demand load information from the large businesses in the community. The demand load is the highest amount of electricity used during a certain period of time.
Following the recommendations of Sawvel, it will be 18 months before the final results are in. Sawvel has reported that they city will not be in a position to sell the utility until the rates come down.
In addition, task force members asked about shedding excess capacity, which the city and Sawvel are working on. Mitchell said that the contracts do not offer early outs.
Members of the utility task force encouraged long range planning.