Utility rate program discussed

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 4, 2023

Special needs fishing event set for today

A program which would allow non-incorporated parts of the county to negotiate for better electric and gas rates was discussed at Tuesday’s meeting of the Lawrence County Commission.

The commissioners heard a presentation from Phil Dysar, of the County Commissioners Association of Ohio Energy Program.

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The group serves 73 of Ohio’s 88 counties and Dysard said they work for county residents to band together to negotiate for rates.

He said Lawrence County is now eligible to do so for gas and would be able to do so for electric when its contract expires at the end of the year.

“It increases purchasing power and offers competitive pricing,” he said of the program.

Dysard said, in order for this to happen, it would have to be approved by a majority of voters as a ballot initiative, then public hearings would need to take place.

He said counties can leave the program at any time. And that the ballot initiative would authorize commissioners to act as aggregators.

While no action was taken, commissioner DeAnna Holliday told Dysard she felt it was “a fantastic program” and “made a lot of sense.”

Dysard offered to come back for more meetings to discuss the matter.

In other business, the commission:

• Heard from Debbie Fisher, of the Lawrence County Health Department, who said that COVID-19 cases are again on the rise in the county. She said there were 87 cases in the past week and Lawrence County ranks fourth in Ohio.

• Heard from commissioner Mike Finley, who reminded the public that the Special Needs Youth Sportsman Fishing Derby is taking place today. 

Finley, who serves on the SNYS board, said there is no cost for the event and equipment will be provided. He said those who want to take part can meet at the Tractor Supply lot in South Point, where a caravan will leave for the lake, on private property, at about 8 a.m.

“We guarantee you will have a good time,” he said.

• Approved the minutes of the meeting held on May 23, as corrected.

• Approved appropriations and transfers dated May 30, under $50,000.00 submitted by Dylan Bentley, acting county administrator. 

• Received and referred the petition to vacate a public access road, Plantation Estates, to the Lawrence County Engineer’s office. 

• Met in executive session with Fisher, Zach Schweinsberg, Paul Obanion and Bentley regarding real estate.