Time to address Danville’s utility rates

To the editor:

Who remembers a year ago when 6,788 residents signed a Change.org petition to call for an investigation of the outrageous power rates in Danville?

There was lot a of media attention surrounding the outcry from residents forced to pay utility bills that were sometimes more than their mortgage or rent. People on fixed incomes were having to make difficult choices between utilities, food and medicine.

Once the turmoil subsided, who remembers the thoughtful response from the utilities department and the public meetings to address the situation with potential solutions?

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

The basic response was, “It was cold.” True, it was cold, but the rates are high and not affordable for so many people. We deserve better.

So by now, we all know Danville signed a contract in 2007 that locked the city into higher than expected power rates. The contract ends in 2020, so what has been happening to position the city in a more advantageous place going forward? Are we considering renewable energy sources? Have we negotiated a deal with power companies that are geographically closer? As stakeholders, shouldn’t we be included in those decisions?

If you want to be a part of the conversation to plan what the next steps should be, please join host Eric Stamps for a Utilities Town Hall on Monday at the Danville Public Library from 5 to 6 p.m. If you are unable to attend the town hall in person watch the live stream on the Eric Stamps for Virginia Facebook page.

Come be a part of the solution. See you there!



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