Paris Mayor Daniel Rogers has twice tried to get a City Council vote authorizing a levelized billing option for residential electricity customers in the city. He has twice failed to get a second to a motion for a vote on the idea.
Last week, Rogers said he will try again to provide customers an option to levelize their electric bill and hopes something can be done before the end of the year.
The new push for levelization comes after customers saw higher bills in February for electricity used during a cold January.
“I’ve had people talk to me about it and I’ve had members of the City Council tell me they want to look at the idea again,” Rogers said last week.
Rogers’ comment came a few days after he held a public meeting following the regular City Council meeting on March 5. At that meeting, one lady showed up to talk about electric bills.
“She told us her bills had been over $300 a month for three months,” Rogers said. “She was a widow and owned her home. The next day, I and electricity department employees went to her house. There wasn’t anything wrong, but we just had a very cold winter. I told her we’d look at levelized billing as an option again. That’s something the city can do to help people.”
Rogers said his first step in formulation of a new plan will be to find a computer software package that can handle the job.
“I think we need to find a software package that fits Paris,” Rogers said last week. “Once we have a good software package in place, one that will work for Paris, I think the City Council will approve it.”
Rogers said that when he presented the levelized option before, he thought he had a good plan.
“The problem is the software we were planning to use,” Rogers said. “If we can get the right software and everyone is comfortable with it, we’ll take another look at it.”
Rogers said he’ll begin the search for the software, “as soon as I can.”
“When we find the software, we’ll look at finding money to pay for it,” Rogers said. “Then, we’ll send it to the City Council. Hopefully we can do that before the end of the year.”
In the meantime?
“Current electrical meter readings are much less,” Roger said. “I think bills going forward will be okay. However, if someone has a high bill, I’ll be glad to have electricity department employees go out and see if we can pinpoint a problem and if one is found, come up with a solution.”