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County board to examine APCo rate hike
Monday, July 28, 2008
By MICKEY POWELL - Bulletin Staff Writer
A nearly 24 percent rate hike proposed by Appalachian Power Co. (APCo) will be scrutinized by the Henry County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
APCo supplies electricity to homes and businesses throughout the county.
In June, the board tabled a resolution opposing the hike. Supervisors asked for information from APCo on why the company thinks it must raise rates.
The company says it must raise rates to compensate for higher coal prices, The Associated Press has reported. Coal often is used to generate power.
An APCo official is expected to be at Tuesday's meeting to answer the board's questions.
In May, APCo petitioned the State Corporation Commission (SCC) for a rate hike of 23.9 percent that would take effect in November. APCo has said the increase would mean a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours of electricity monthly would pay $16.53 more, or $88.01 per month.
The SCC has slated public hearings pertaining to APCo's request during September and October in Richmond. In the meantime, it has given APCo permission to increase rates by nearly 12 percent effective Sept. 1.
Henry County residents have been "inundated with cost increases for food, fuel and other necessities of life," the supervisors' proposed resolution reads, and "these constant increases and increased obligations are having a hugely negative impact on our citizens and their ability to make ends meet."�
The board will examine APCo's rate hike proposal when it meets at 3 p.m. Tuesday in the downstairs meeting room at the County Administration Building on Kings Mountain Road near Collinsville.
APCo representatives are expected to be at the meeting.
Resolutions recognizing the 20th anniversary of Rob Lee Park in the Iriswood District; the 36th anniversary of CONTACT (a telephone crisis information and referral service) and declaring Aug. 5 as "National Night Out" countywide will be considered during the meeting.
Other items on the agenda will include:
"¢ Considering a performance contract for Piedmont Community Services for the fiscal year that began this month.
"¢ Hearing an appeal by Taps Lounge for a denied permit for a dance hall.
"¢ Considering an ordinance allowing golf carts on public roads in the Farmingdale residential development.
"¢ Hearing a presentation by Mark Heath, president of the Martinsville-Henry County Economic Development Corp., about construction of a shell building.
"¢ Considering a resolution regarding a reduction in local aid from the state.
"¢ Hearing financial matters regarding the county sheriff's and public safety offices.
"¢ Considering a resolution regarding formal authorization of retirement "pickup" plans for county employees.
"¢ Meeting in closed session to consult with the county attorney and consider possible appointments to local boards and commissions.
During a second meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, the supervisors will hold a public hearing on plans to transfer ownership of the former Henry County Courthouse to the Martinsville-Henry County Historical Society.
Public hearings also will be held on:
"¢ A request by Jesse Cahill to rezone property in the 2400 block of Kings Mountain Road in the Reed Creek District from Suburban Residential to Neighborhood Commercial.
Cahill wants to add to an existing structure on the property so it can be used as a restaurant, officials said.
"¢ A proposed abandonment, requested by Kathy Washburn, of a 30-foot road space near Joseph Martin Highway in the Ridgeway District.
Officials said nobody but Washburn apparently has ever used the space, and access to nearby properties would not be affected by the abandonment.
In addition, the supervisors will consider a request for a "watch for children" sign to be installed on Chatmoss Court in the Iriswood District.
A discussion among supervisors in June about how to control roaming cats originally was to continue during Tuesday's meeting - at least, it was to be placed on the agenda. However, Collinsville District Supervisor Jim McMillian, who initiated the discussion, has asked for the issue to be dropped, said County Administrator Benny Summerlin.