Berlin has positive power report

August 3, 2018

Berlin Borough is reporting a profit from generator operations in the first year the system has been online.

During a borough council meeting Thursday night, borough Executive Secretary Tom Jones said that through several electric capacity credits from the borough’s electric provider, American Municipal Power, or AMP, of Ohio, the municipality saw a cost savings of $100,644 from June 1, 2017, to May 31.

Combined with income from power the generators made that would have otherwise cost $19,095.35, Jones said that the total income for the generators comes to $119,739.35.

He said that expenses for diesel fuel and gasoline to run the generators totaled $47,738.37, putting operations in the black by $72,000.98.

The credits, he said, are given to the borough as sort of an insurance policy in case AMP would need the generators to provide power to another one of its customers.

He added that the generators ran for only 120 hours in the first year.

Councilman Tom Fisher said the savings are the fruition of the council’s vision from a few years ago when the generator project began.

“A lot of the figures that we came up with are real,” Fisher said of the original vision. “We succeeded.”

Fisher is one of three council members still on the board from when it voted in 2015 to move forward with the plan.

The generators can produce 3.75 megawatts of power. The project cost about $2.5 million and the generators officially went live in July 2017.

Now that the generation system is making money, it does not mean that a contentious electric fee will go away. Jones said that the purchased power adjustment fee, which was put in place before the generators to try to make up for expensive high consumption times, will remain for the time being.

The fee is three-quarters of a penny per kilowatt hour.

“It will be reviewed when we go through our budgets,” he said when asked if the fee will stay.

Also during Thursday’s meeting, the council unanimously voted to let the borough’s solicitor take action on abandoned properties.

Jones said that two blighted mobile homes, one along Brubaker Street and another along 5th Avenue, are being targeted for removal or repair. There are others, he said, that will need further investigating and could be brought up for legal recourse by next month’s regular meeting.

He said he isn’t sure of the exact legal process, but the hope is for the borough to take control of the trailers within 30 days.

“We’re not going to do anything,” he said of the legal process. “It’s in the solicitor’s hands.”

The borough, he said, will seek reimbursement for any legal fees and demolition costs.

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