The comment below was copied from the comments section of the Rocky Mount Telegram regarding a recent article about a new citizens group promoting a change in Policy and Procedures regarding Rocky Mount Public Utilities.
Here’s the real deal regarding these comments: The Facts are just WRONG!
Rocky Mount City Councilman Andre Knight (WARD 1) is the appointed Commissioner for Rocky Mount on the NCEMPA Board. The alternate member is Rich Worsinger who is the Director of Utilities. Both individuals go to the NCEMPA meetings (at least when they were having meetings once a month). To attest to qualifications, Mr. Worsinger has an Engineering Degree.
Both Councilman Blackwell and Councilman Knight in fact, recently voted to reduce the overall cost of electricity to the citizens of Rocky Mount. They did this by voting to increase the property tax to .55 cents per $100 evaluation.
How is this? Had this endeavor not passed the City would have been left in a lurch leaving less than $50,000 in the reserve funds relevant to the proposed fiscal budget of 2010. For a municipality the size of Rocky Mount this is nothing short of egregious mismanagement. Other than raising property taxes, the only way for Rocky Mount to make this up would be to significantly raise utility rates. Thankfully, because of the forward thinking of these Councilmen and others such as Tom Rodgers, Lois Watkins, Lamont Wiggins, citizens were saved from this nightmare.
The poster below goes further to ask us to remember (this) come election time. I couldn’t agree more. Incidentally, the two Council members who voted against an inadvertent utility increase which would have been necessary in an almost emergent situation is Chris Miller (Ward 7) and W.B. Bulluck (Ward 6). Both are up for reelection.
Had these two individuals gotten their way (which I believe was only for political gain) the potential increase to your utilities could have almost been an immediate 4% increase during the summer months and fall and winter could have doubled by 8% respectively. Taking into account the average (median +/- .25 to 2), your light bill could have increased by $ 8.17-42.05 over the next 12 months.
The Simple Fact of the Case:
Ratepayers want to be charged the same rates as Progress Energy and Duke Power: which is around 10.5 cents per KwH. There are ways to do this, but the end result does not rest with this City Council. You may not like the “politics” of a particular member on the City Council, but no one on that Council is stupid. If there was simple or viable way to reduce utility rates absent bankrupting the City—this Council would have already enacted those plans.
My name is George Fisher and I wrote this article. ENUF is comprised of ratepayers all over eastern North Carolina. These comments relevant to the Rocky Mount City Council are my comments and only mine. The factual rate calculations are relevant to Rocky Mount and Rocky Mount ratepayers only. Other municipalities have varying rates that may or may not be similar to Rocky Mount Rates.