Update–Report from the meeting: 1) The City Council understands we have a big problem.
2) They’re looking for solutions, and they’re contracting with the attorneys who filed the citizens’ class action lawsuit to go through information.
3) They will not join the citizens’ lawsuit (likely killing it for good), though they may entertain their own litigation (details of which they can’t discuss).
4) We will have another electricity rate increase “similar to 2015”, probably in January 2016–just 8 months after the last 6.5% increase, which came one year after a previous 6.5% increase + $4 monthly fee increase +.5% sales tax, and which doesn’t take into account possible restrictions on carbon emissions, a coal pre-wash plant, or coal ash clean up costs.
5) This must never happen again.
My thoughts: Let no stone be unturned until we find a way out of this contract. Going forward, there should be prohibitions (perhaps at a state level) to keep municipalities from signing contracts that extend past a certain amount of time (say, 10 years), or involve bonds of great magnitude without citizens’ approval. There is this ridiculous system where, while the City could not bond the $240 million without referendum, the City could join with other cities to form an aggregate (NIMPA) and issue those same $240 million in bonds while citizens could do nothing to stop it. The bonds are NIMPA’s, but the burden belongs to the citizens, and yet the citizens have been deemed by the courts to have no standing. There is no justice in this.
The Batavia City Council has called for a special meeting on Sep. 28, 2015 to focus on our Prairie State electricity problem. More information can be found on the home page of the City of Batavia website at https://www.cityofbatavia.net/.
The class-action suit attorneys received a 60-day extension of the refiling deadline for their lawsuit. One fear is that some in the City may drag their feet to run out the clock even on this extension. If there are better ideas that the City Council has to get us out of this miserable contract, let’s hear it on the 28th.
Visit the City web page and please, submit any questions you may have ASAP, so they can be answered by the 28th.