Here we go again. Rocky Mount in an uproar

Yes. Here we go again. I was out of state for a month with family and found my e-mail filling up. So I started catching up and here is what I found.

Please notice how many comments each story generates. I am told Rocky Mount and Wilson residents are really fed up but are finally on board and calling legislators and the Governor. Unfortunately it appears that only a crisis will force this place to cut its labor force to the minimum and address the cost issues. And we are not yet to that crisis. I am more convinced that our state utilities committee will need to regulate these power agencies if we ever want to be charged against the real costs of providing power.

Give the credit to Andre Knight who has really taken on the good old boys and is driving this issue home.

http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/opinion/a-tough-fight-against-utility-rate-hikes-401040.html

http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/news/power-agency-denies-city-request-to-delay-hike-400929.html

http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/news/city-skirts-electric-rate-hike-397316.html

http://www.rockymounttelegram.com/news/city-considers-325-electric-rate-increase-392104.html

http://www.wilsontimes.com/news/local/story/Rates-still-going-up--

http://www.wilsontimes.com/Print/Rates-still-going-up--

Resolution

RESOLUTION REQUESTING THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE NORTH CAROLINA EASTERN MUNICIPAL AGENCY TO CONSIDER THE CURRENT ECONOMIC CLIMATE AND POSTPONE EFFECTIVE DATE OF RECENT ELECTRIC RATE INCREASES TO MEMBER CITIES AND SEEK ALTERNATIVES TO FUTURE RATE INCREASES

WHEREAS, the overall economy of the United States of America, and especially the State of North Carolina, is at an unprecedented low and not forecast to improve in the near term; and

WHEREAS, unemployment, home mortgage foreclosures, bank failures and business closings are at an all time high and our citizens are facing financial challenges never before experienced causing them to seek alternative methods or rely on public assistance to provide for their families; and

WHEREAS, the recent recommended electric rate increases approved by the Commissioners of the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Agency is causing angst among the citizens of our community who are customers of the City of Rocky Mount Electric Distribution System and who are already struggling not only to pay their electric power bills, but to meet the basic everyday needs of their families; and

WHEREAS, the City of Rocky Mount cannot financially absorb the proposed rate increase and continue to provide services to protect the health and safety of its citizens;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council of the City of Rocky Mount hereby urges the Commissioners of the North Carolina Eastern Municipal Agency to immediately take the following action:

1. to postpone the effective date of the recently approved rate increases until July 1, 2009;
2. to reconsider the recently approved increases and seek alternative methods of meeting the power supply needs without increasing rates;
3. to take belt tightening measures within the organization to reduce operating costs to the end that in the future, such increases will not be necessary.

Adopted, this the 26th day of January, 2009.

______________________________ Jean M. Bailey, City Clerk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2009
Media Contact: Megan Hanks, Public Affairs Manager
252/972-1333
ROCKY MOUNT CITY COUNCIL CALLS UPON NCEMPA
TO DELAY ELECTRIC RATE INCREASE, SEEK ALTERNATIVE FUNDING
At a regular meeting on Monday, January 26, the Rocky Mount City
Council approved a resolution requesting the Commissioners of the
North Carolina Eastern Municipal Power Agency (NCEMPA) to postpone
the effective date of electric rate increases to member cities and to seek
alternatives to future rate increases. The resolution was introduced by
Councilman André D. Knight, seconded by Councilwoman Chris Miller,
and was approved unanimously.
The City Council’s regular meeting agenda included the consideration of
several electric rate adjustments, including increases for residential,
commercial, and industrial customers. Councilman Knight moved to
delay the consideration of this matter and to request the following of
NCEMPA:
1. to postpone the effective date of the recently approved
rate increases until July 1, 2009;
2. to reconsider the recently approved increases and seek
alternative methods of meeting the power supply needs
without increasing rates;
3. to take belt tightening measures within the
organization to reduce operating costs to the end that in
the future, such increases will not be necessary.
The Rocky Mount City Council has directed that the resolution be sent to
the NCEMPA Board of Commissioners for consideration at their meeting
on Wednesday, January 28.
For more information, please see the attached resolution.
###

From: Billie Severini
Subject: Info about Online Petition
To: "Rickdewjr" , tayers002@nc.rr.com, "John Henderson" , wordpress@americaindanger.com, "Holly Roberson" , "Larry Williams" , "Tom T Redmund" , "Ms. Charlotte Logan" , dink1977@suddenlink.net, grammie2benjamin@yahoo.com, tonyr@ncleg.net, bjs74595@gsk.com
Cc: "Turner, Lloyd" , Rich.Worsinger@rockymountnc.gov, Kim.Weaver@rockymountnc.gov, andreknight@embarqmail.com, lwigginsesq@embarqmail.com, lois@ncbtg.org, tom.rogers@embarqmail.com, wbbullockins@peoplepc.com, ccmillerrm@aol.com, reuben.blackwell@yahoo.com
Date: Monday, January 26, 2009, 12:47 PM

Rocky Mount Council,

I have created an online petition for the Rocky Mount Utilities (Lower the Rates). We have 502 signatures at the current time. We are asking the Council to VOTE NO on the 3.25% increase. I can not make the meeting today that is suppose to be at 4pm. But I want our voices to be heard and our signatures to make an impact. The City of Rocky Mount members have contacted me, they stated that they do have an Energy Audit, and beat the heat program available to everyone. We did not take them up on the offer because we do not want our heat or AC turned off each day during peak hours. We have children and we want them comfortable in our home. As for the Audit we have not decided if we want it done by the city or a third party group. We have made many improvements to our home and not much has changed in our prices each month. Since 2005 we have paid over $17000.00 in utilities at our home. Its is now time for a change.

Billie-Joel Severini
dink1977@suddenlink.net