Electricity aggregation program on Rayland ballot

RAYLAND residents will be voting on an electricity aggregation program in May as a result of an ordinance adopted under suspension of rules during a recent village council meeting.

The ordinance authorizes all actions necessary to effect a governmental electricity aggregation program with opt-out provisions pursuant to a section of the Ohio Revised Code, directing the Jefferson County Board of Elections to submit a ballot question to electors.

Prior to council’s action, John Ney of World Energy explained the electricity aggregation program and answered questions.

Ney said residents would have 21 days after notification to opt out of the aggregate, and an opt-out provision would be chosen rather than an opt-in provision, because history has shown better participation with an opt-out provision.

Residents would still be allowed to opt out after the 21-day period but would incur a small cancellation fee to do so, likely $50. Ney also said the contract term with the electrical supplier could be 12, 24 or 36 months, and the village at the end of the contract could negotiate with all suppliers again or chose not to be aggregated. Another ordinance would not need to be passed in either case.

The village would be allowed to negotiate with or without neighboring communities. Ney repeated several times that village would incur no cost to place the issue on the ballot although when Rayland Fiscal Officer Rick Soos interjected that the village must pay election costs for anything it places on the ballot, Ney conceded there may be some small cost. In the past, election costs have ranged from around $200 to $1,000.

Ney explained World Energy makes its money by representing the village and will be paid by the electrical supplier. It also was noted that World Energy offers a natural gas aggregation program.

Another election matter was reported by Village Administrator Rich Bibbo, who said the Jefferson County Board of Elections would like to have elections at the municipal building, and the board would like for a representative to survey the building and take measurements.

Bibbo said due to electrical limitations, the furniture in the building would have to be moved but it appears the building meets the board’s requirements. Mayor Tammy Morelli was authorized to call the board to give approval.

Soos presented a letter notifying village officials that the Rayland Volunteer Fire Department had canceled its commercial package/general liability insurance policy effective Jan. 2, 2014, which makes it appear that the department no longer has insurance. Councilwoman Carolyn Tolonese said it is possible the department simply changed insurance carriers.

Officials decided in either event, the department is to provide the village with a copy of its certificate of insurance, naming the village as an additional insured if it desires to contract with the village for fire protection services.

Soos said the Ohio Municipal League is offering a regional training series for newly elected council members.

The fiscal officer also reported the 2013 1099s had been completed in addition to being distributed and filed on time.

Morelli said she will give her state of the village address and distribute committee assignments at the next meeting.

She also would like for a new battery to be purchased for the salt spreader on the dump truck, and she will order salt for the municipal building sidewalk.

Because of Presidents Day, council changed its next regular meeting to Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m.

Pokas can be reached at bettypokas@yahoo.com.