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Second electric aggregation vote set : News : Oswego Ledger-Sentinel : Hometown Newspaper for Oswego and Montgomery, Illinois
Second electric aggregation vote set
Referendum on March 18 ballot for unincorporated areas

by Matt Schury


Voters in unincorporated Kendall County-including the Boulder Hill and Shore Heights Subdivisions-will be asked again next spring if they want to allow the county to seek competitive bids from private firms for the electric power portion of their monthly ComEd or Ameren bills.

The Kendall County Board voted unanimously 9-0 Tuesday night to put a referendum on the March primary election ballot asking voters if they want to participate in electric aggregation.

Board member John Purcell was absent from the meeting. The referendum question was on the ballot in November of 2012 and failed, now the county is giving voters a second chance to voice their opinions.

But don't ask board members for their opinions on aggregation.

County State's Attorney Eric Weis told board members that now that the referendum will be on the ballot for the March 18 election, they cannot take an official stance on it as a board member. They can give the public facts on aggregation but cannot try to sway voters' opinions now that the measure is on the ballot.

"Once it is on there you cannot advocate in your position as a County Board member for or against the position," Weis said. "That is for the electorate to do."

Earlier this month, the County Board approved an agreement with Progressive Energy, a consulting firm that will initially market and promote the referendum. If the referendum is approved, Progressive will then be able to bid electrical rates on behalf of the county.

The referendum question will read:

"Shall the County of Kendall have the authority to arrange for the supply of electricity for its residential and small commercial retail customers who have not opted out of such program?"

If approved by voters next year, the county would be able to negotiate for lower electrical rates as part of a group of local governments. Residents are automatically enrolled in electric aggregation but are able to opt out of the program if they want to do so.

The referendum question will not be on the ballot for a small portion of residents of southwestern Big Grove Township who get electricity from the Corn Belt Energy Corporation.

Voters in Oswego, Montgomery and Yorkville passed electric aggregation referendums last year.

In Oswego, village officials have estimated passage of the referendum has allowed village residents to save about $20 per month or $240 per year on their ComEd bills.

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