CAMDEN — Camden Village Council heard from representatives from Palmer Energy, Preble County Commissioner Adam Craft, and several residents during its Thursday, July 21, meeting.
Commissioner Craft introduced Phil Dicer of Palmer Energy. Dicer explained to council Palmer Energy has been working with the county since November of 2011, and looks to branch out to the surrounding villages with its aggregation programs.
Palmer Energy works in energy consultation for aggregation, which according to Dicer, in this particular case means the company will find the best deals for the client, be it a city, village or township, and arrange purchasing power for the client. The client is then a part of a program which bundles together to procure small amounts of power from local energy suppliers, be it natural gas or electricity, and divides the cost among the residents.
Aggregation aims to lower the overall cost of energy, and according to Dicer, there could be no better time to do so, “Pricing has increased dramatically. Some people have seen it now on their bills, if you haven’t, you’re going to see it coming up here,” he said.
However, the aggregation program offered by Palmer Energy is not a mandatory plan, which means those residents eligible for the program would have the choice to “opt-in,” or, “opt-out.” Because of this dynamic, the plan would be put to a public vote on the next appropriate election ballot.
Dicer assured council, even if the program passed the vote, residents would still have the option to get out of the program if they so desired.
Dicer mentioned, there is an option of not only bundling Camden’s energy expenses together, but bundling with other municipalities in the county, lowering the overall cost for individuals even more.
Regardless of the program chosen, Dicer insisted there is no early termination fees, and residents can always opt-out of the program if it is not the most optimal option for their situation.
Council made no decision during the meeting, but will consider options for Camden moving forward.
Palmer Energy also provided Eaton City Council their information during a Monday, July 18, meeting. Eaton City Council is also reviewing the program information.
For more information on Palmer Energy, visit www.palmerenergy.com.
Council also took the opportunity to question Commissioner Craft regarding the missed funding opportunity from the Ohio Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program, which saw 87 out of 88 Ohio counties being awarded up to $500,000 dollars in grants.
“So, there’s a long answer and then there’s a short answer. I’ll try to be as brief as I possibly can, for the sake of time,” began Craft. “The short answer is there was a lot of human error, that wasn’t really a result of the Commissioner’s Office. We are not the lead entity in Preble County that would have been responsible for applying for those funds. It’s the Land Reutilization Corporation in Preble County.”
Craft explained that the board overseeing the Land Reutilization Corporation, “somewhat dropped the ball,” on the application for the funding. Craft also explained, “Basically what happened was, when the DOD was reaching out, they were reaching out to the only person they had on file, and that person no longer had anything to do with the Land Reutilization Corporation.”
Craft assured those gathered at the meeting they have, “fixed the problem.” Craft speculated that after speaking with Governor Dewine and members of the DOD, he suspects there will be another opportunity to claim the funding in the future.
Craft ended by saying, “You can rest assured, it won’t happen again.”
In other business:
•Council received a request from Tony Combs, a resident of Camden, concerning the replacement of the sidewalk in front of his home. Combs stated his property floods significantly due to a faulty storm drain nearby and he believes it would be a financially poor decision to put in a new sidewalk if nothing was done first by the village to correct the flooding issues. Council is looking into fixing the problem. Council assured Combs when they correct the issues, Combs will not be held financially responsible for any replacement costs.
Council again asserted its willingness to work with members of the community in establishing payment plans for the replacement of sidewalks within the village.
•Council received grievances from the pastor of Camden Community Church regarding overgrown trees inflicting damage to their building. Councilman Doran advised the church to get a quote on the cost of removing the trees and contact him to proceed.
•Council announced it will hold a special meeting Thursday, Aug. 4, at 6:30 p.m. before its regularly scheduled meeting, to discuss public interest in a property on South Second Street in Camden which is set to be demolished.
•Council received the resignation of Nancy Melton, Clerk of Courts for Mayors Court in Camden. Melton gave council a resignation letter and when asked her reason for resignation stated, “Because I need to.” The majority of council voted in favor of Melton’s resignation, with one vote against and one move to abstain. The village office is currently looking for applicants to fill the position of Clerk of Courts for Mayor’s Court.
•Council made the decision to stay with VFIS Insurance as the village’s current carrier, with all votes in favor of doing so excluding Councilman Jeff Steele, who voted against.
Camden Village Council meetings are public meetings held on the first and third Thursday of each month, at 7 p.m. at Camden Town Hall.
Reach Nathan Hoskins at 937-683-4057 and follow on Twitter @NathanHoskins13.