Follow the City of Millersburg as it studies the feasibility and possible creation of a municipal electric utility.
Why is the City of Millersburg investigating the possibility of forming a municipal utility to provide electricity to city residents?
The short answer: an initial report from D. Hittle and Associates shows that forming a municipal utility would have significant long-term benefits for the community with no reduction in the quality of service. Read More >>>
Implementation Proposal Committee Meetings Set
The Millersburg Municipal Electric Utility Implementation Proposal Committee has scheduled two meetings this month. The Committee will meet on Nov. 6 and Nov. 24. Both meetings are scheduled from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM at City Hall.
The City has the opportunity to form a municipal utility and to purchase low-cost hydroelectric power from the Bonneville Power Administration (“BPA”). BPA is a federal agency charged with marketing the output of the federal Columbia River hydroelectric system. Although BPA has fully allocated the output of the federal hydroelectric system to other consumer-owned utilities, BPA reserved a small amount of such power at its lowest rates for new utilities. Only newly formed consumer-owned utilities, such as a municipal utility, are eligible under federal law to purchase this reserved power. One new consumer-owned utility has already been formed and has purchased a share of this BPA power. Other communities are interested in doing the same. Once the reserved power has been allocated to new utilities, it is unknown whether BPA can or will make more available. Thus, the City believes that it is prudent to analyze the feasibility of forming a municipal utility now, while it is still possible to acquire a share of the lowest-cost hydroelectric power that has been reserved by BPA.
The most recent new municipal utility to form in Oregon was the City of Hermiston in 2001. The City of Hermiston brought a condemnation action to acquire a portion of PacifiCorp distribution system. Hermiston purchases its wholesale power supply from BPA, and contracts with another local utility to operate its distribution system. We understand that the average residential electric customer located in Hermiston now pays about 30% less each month for power than the average residential customer of PacifiCorp located in nearby Pendleton.
Millersburg Municipal Electric Utility Implementation Proposal Committee Formed
The Millersburg Mayor and City Council have created a committee to put together a draft implementation proposal for the formation of a municipal electric utility. The goal of the committee is to make preliminary decisions or recommendations regarding the specific options for acquiring, operating, and maintaining a municipal electric utility. By focusing on specific details of implementation and operations, experts, guided by the committee, should be able to provide the city with answers to the many questions and concerns expressed by citizens during two public hearings where the results of feasibility studies were discussed.
The committee is made up of two representatives each from the City Council, members of the public, and local businesses. The members of the committee, listed below, will meet three to four times over the next few months to provide input and review the development of a detailed proposal for establishing and operating an electric utility. The draft proposal will be presented to the City Council and the public upon completion of the task. No date has been set for the first meeting.
Forrest Barnes, Palm Harbor Homes
Jim Denham, ATI Wah Chang
This site provides Millersburg’s residents with more information about public power and how the City is investigating its options.