Minerva asked to renew levies

MINERVA – Village residents are being asked to renew two existing levies and approve a ballot issue that would give them a chance to participate in an electricity discount program.

The one levy, for 0.3 mills, is for senior citizen services, according to village Manager David Harp. The levy generates $9,738 per year and is one of two levies voters approved to support the senior center in town.

Voters are also being asked to renew a 1.2-mill recreational levy, which generates $38,515 per year and accounts for about half of what the village spends on its parks department, including operation of the community pool. Council provides the rest of the money from the village general fund.

“If this passes, council has talked about going back and asking for another levy next year,” Harp said.

The third issue on the ballot is the so-called electric aggregation issue, which, if it passes, would grant council permission to participate in an electricity discount program that residents could join, if they choose.

The issue would give council permission to negotiate and approve an agreement with electric suppliers for a lower, locked-in rate for the generation/transmission fee, which accounts for about two-thirds of your monthly electric bill. Residents would then have the option of participating in the program for one to three years, or whatever the contract period would be.

If residents currently have their own contract with a third-party supplier and wanted go with the village, they could still cancel that contract by paying an opt-out fee of probably $25 to $50.

John Ney, hired by the village help with the ballot issue and negotiations, said he just negotiated a deal for Mingo Junction, locking in the village at 5.9 per kilowatt hour compared to the 7.9 Kwh most residents were paying.

“The village, in doing this, is offering a real service for residents.” Ney said.