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Rogers will try again on levelized billing option

When the Paris City Council meets on Monday, March 3, Mayor Daniel Rogers is going to present them with another resolution authorizing him to give electricity customers in Paris the option of levelized billing.

The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. at the Municipal Building and is open to the public.

Rogers previously introduced the resolution last year. At the time, aldermen had questions and the measure was not put on the table for a vote.

“I put it out there for discussion but it never made it past discussion,” Rogers said last week. “They had some questions and wanted to make sure our computer software could handle it. I have been assured that it can.”

The renewed attempt at passing a levelized billing resolution comes a month after a town hall meeting on electricity costs following the Monday, Feb. 3 City Council meeting. The public hearing was attended by about 25 residents, many of whom has questions about high utility bills. At the meeting, a representative of the Oklahoma Municipal Power Association, which sells electricity to the city under a contract, answered questions about power costs and levelized bills.

“I think the town hall meeting and discussion gave our aldermen a lot more information and let them hear how the public feels about levelized billing,” Rogers said. “People are struggling with electric bills and they want options. I think we should give people a choice. Levelized billing will also give people more security about their monthly bills.”

Under the resolution to be presented Monday, utility customers will have the option of signing up for levelized bills, meaning their bill would be based on a 12 month rolling average. Those signing up have to have been a customer for at least one year and have a good record of payment, Rogers said. That means they have to have paid bills on time and not have been cut off for non-payment in the last 12 months.

Rogers said if the aldermen pass his resolution, the city would probably take sign ups for levelized billing this fall.

Rogers said those on levelized billing should see their bills vary by $15 to $20 a month.

In putting together his resolution, Rogers said he checked with other cities to see how they handled levelized billing.

“I’ve talked to cities in Oklahoma that are smaller than us and provide a levelized billing option for their customers,” Rogers said. “It works for them. If they can do it, why can’t we?”

Also at the meeting, Rogers will present his State of the City report.

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