The charge was led by Don Faulds, Roberta Wade, and John Smella. These Galion residents have been at the forefront of the AMP/Prairie State issue since the beginning. They held a public meeting at the Galion Public Library Tuesday night in an attempt to share their information with the broader Galion public.
They were joined in presenting by Andrew Flock, Neocles Leontis, and Sandy Buchanan who have similar stories to tell about AMP/Prairie State from other communities.
The tenor of the meeting was education and unity for the residents of communities footing the AMP bill, and unity among the constituent communities as they look to confront the issue.
Wade in particular promised an issue forcing the city to refund overcharges would be going on the ballot after the first of the year. Wade indicated the reasons for the proposed ballot issue are intertwined with the wider AMP/Prairie State story; but the specifics have to do with the government of the City of Galion.
This lawsuit would seek to restore to the residents of Galion some $4 million in what Wade claims are overcharged electric rates. In what Wade termed the “money grab of 2009,” the group says that a Power Cost Adjustment (means through which electrical rates are adjusted) grossly overcharged the residents of Galion until 2012. They added that during this period the electrical fund balance went from approximately $3.5 million to $7.5 million, and that this rate adjustment was done in an underhanded fashion.
Wade cited her time as a member of City Council in this era, which was also when the city tried to double sewer and water rates. These measures were carried out in the light of day, and as such were defeated by Wade and other members of council. Wade alleges the PCA was not done in such open circumstances and this is how it got through.
‘We know the PCA overcharged you,’ Wade said, ‘You’re owed a refund for that money you were overcharged, it’s that simple.’…..
Flock is a city council member in Painesville, and AMP customer; Leontis is a professor at Bowling Green State University, and Bowling Green is an AMP customer; and Buchanan is an executive director with the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. Flock and Leontis outlined how their respective communities have dealt with similar situations in regard to their power. Buchanan spoke of other constituent communities who have begun to take action against the group.
Of particular encouragement was the story of Marceline, Mo. This city had a mayor that swore, ‘I’m not going to let this destroy our community.’ This mayor was able to work a deal with AMP to settle out of the contract. This apparently was enough to inspire Paducah, Ky, to attempt something similar.
‘If they succeed in making a deal, every other city should make a deal,’ Buchanan said.
The meeting ended with plans for another meeting after the first of the year, tentatively for Jan. 20. Wade reiterated her commitment to the proposed ballot issue regarding the PCA funds, as well as an allusion to ‘other’ ballot initiatives. Wade stated that she has received feedback from the community that all they do is talk. She made it quite clear that the time for action has now come.”
Andrew Walsh, Crawford County Now