Seven years ago, the village signed onto a joint venture through AMP Ohio to find the lowest possible electric cost for customers.
Flash forward seven years to today and the soft-coal power plant at the center of the venture was never built due to large cost overruns. Still, village electric customers will have to pay a rough estimate of $1.25 extra per month for the next 15 years to cover costs associated with the planned plant in Meigs County.
AMP Ohio purchased the property on which the plant was to be built.
In 2004, then village administrator Jim Brown, who currently is on council, recommended against the idea of signing onto the venture. Nothing was done until 2007 when, under a different administration, council voted to sign onto the venture. The only council member still on the body is John Fox. All council members who were on the body at the time voted in favor of partaking in the venture.
Other council members were the now late Arthur Dickman, David Jenkins, Nina Kovesdi, Richard Maloney and Lois Wolf.
So even though the power plant was never built, Milan and other communities that signed onto the venture will have to pay.
“We were a very small piece of the pie,” village fiscal officer Mary Bruno said
Bruno said the village will pay a minumum total of $162,971 over the next 15 years, which comes out to $905.39 per month.
Robert Bickley was mayor and Bruce Bowie was administrator when council voted to join on in 2007.
“Sometimes we make decisions that go south,” Mayor Steve Rockwell said during Wednesday’s council meeting. “It’s a tough pill to swallow for this village. It is what it is.”
Brown said the estimate of customers having to pay $1.25 extra per month is just that — an estimate. The purchase cost adjustment is based on how much electricity people use, he said.
Bruno said when council members voted to join onto the venture, they didn’t use electrical consultant John Courtney to advise them.
He now is their electrical consultant and he recommended the village’s payment schedule.