BROCTON The unfortunate lows of the temperatures this winter will call for an inconvenient rise in electric rates for some municipalities including Brocton.
During a recent village board of trustees meeting, Mayor Dave Hazelton updated those in attendance on the recent notice received by New York Municipal Power Authority, one of the three suppliers of Brocton's electric power.
"We were notified ... from NYMPA, of a possible electric rate increase because they are purchasing such an abundance of electric power they are now forced into the higher rate of electric. Unfortunately, that's something that's passed onto our customers and not something that we can control," stated the mayor.
According to Village Clerk Karen Ardillo, customers should notice an increase in their March bill, which will be listed as "power."
Brocton's electric source is purchased through three different entities: NYMPA; New York Power Authority; and National Grid. Ratepayers' bills are calculated by a formula which accounts all three suppliers and the kilowatt/hertz used for the billing period.
According to information provided to the village by NYMPA, the exceptionally cold winter caused a new record to be set in New York State for the time frame at which winter electricity load has peaked. The temperatures have also caused similar utility prices in the mid-West and the entire North East of the United States.
NYMPA also explained in its communication to the village that for January, electricity prices reached all time highs due to the extreme and extended cold. Coupled with natural gas prices rising nearly 20 times their normal rate, record electric rates in the state are anticipated for most electric ratepayers.
Officials at NYMPA expect the rates to even out following the March billing and realize, as the mayor and village officials do, that it will be shocking for customers to see on their bill. Purchasing power when it was at its lowest price as a reserve, however, allowed the joint supply chain to save approximately $7 million, according to NYMPA's explanation letter.
In other matters, the board briefly discussed the options for the 10 E. Main Street property. Mayor Hazelton addressed the trustees about the possibility of putting a roof on the building as a less expensive, but slightly less permanent fix to the issue of the building.
Code Enforcement and Zoning Officer for the village, Alan Gustafson updated the board that his scheduled court date surrounding the building has been cancelled and is expected to be rescheduled.
Trustee Gary Planty also added that he is still taking part in informational webinars on Main Street Revitalization and Rural Area Redevelopment grant opportunities to see if there are any viable options for the village to tackle the building's condition.
"I've tried to focus in on opportunities that specifically deal with demolitions, and so far the Main Street ones don't sound like they would work for that, but I am still looking," stated Planty.