March 22, 2021 Special Commission Minutes

March 22, 2021 Special Commission Minutes

March 22, 2021 Special Commission Minutes

website_admin Minutes


Special Commission Meeting

March 22, 2021                                                                                                                               5:00 P.M.

Mayor John Garcia called the meeting to order with Vice-Mayor Jay Dee Brumbaugh, Commissioner Aaron Thompson, Commissioner J. J. Howard and Commissioner Gary Farris responding to roll call. 

Also present were Dustin Bedore – Director of Electric Utilities, Frank Hayes – Police Chief, Kenton Keith – Director of Streets and Facilities, Neal Thornburg – Director of Water and Wastewater, Danny Krayca – Director of Parks, Mary Volk – City Clerk, and Alan Lanning – City Manager. 

Mayor Garcia led Pledge of Allegiance


  1. Ordinance 1738 – Extraordinary Power Costs – Mayor Garcia stated, Commission has asked for additional utility information to determine where the major portion of the expense incurred.  Today we received proposals for two, three and four years based on consumption.  Alan stated, I have reviewed the information.  When we originally discussed the event, our objective was to keep it relatively simple by charging an additional $8 per customer.  I sent Commission an email with consumption information, but I did not expect it to influence the decision.  I was trying to make comparison based average monthly bill for each customer type if everyone paid 7.9% of the average bill.  Today’s information was broken down further based on consumption and usage.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, the problem I had before was that after we got more information, I could not reconcile the breakdown by customer category because usage varied a lot within each category.  There are some residences that use more than a small business.  I decided to forget about structuring the charge by category and go off usage.  I feel the information today is more fair and in line as to where the burden of costs should go.  I am open to which term in the proposal the Commission would like to approve.  Mary stated, so the Commission is aware, I believe this proposal affects the school and NWT College more than previous proposals.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I have been talking to Ben about the charge and he was satisfied how it will be spread out.  He would like the longer term.  It does not change a lot for the school and they are fine as long as it does not hit in one budget cycle.  I feel basing on usage is fairer.  Mayor Garcia stated, out of 2,162 residential consumers, 2,093 fall under 0-1,000 kWh category.  Shauna Johnson Deputy City Clerk stated, some of those customers are small commercial; about 1,700 in that category are residential.  Mayor Garcia stated, this proposal illustrates where the major consumption is and targets usage consumed by customer, no matter the category.  Whether we approve the three or four year proposal, the cost is stretched out for our customers which is more equitable and less of an impact.  Commissioner Thompson stated, I still look at this as an extraordinary circumstance that no one was aware of until after the fact.  It is all speculation, but if people knew ahead of time would they have conserved more electricity?  I feel usage is fair but I also feel all this usage was unaccounted for and no one knew this was going to happen.  I am still personally in favor with the charge of $8 across the board.  I do feel if the Commission wants to break down the costs in tiers, this is fairer but I still am in favor of one charge.  Commissioner Howard stated, the City as a whole did not have more usage for the month, it was the time frame of the event and we were gouged with costs.  I am still in favor of $8 across the board.  I understand the break out by usage but the City had the same usage but paid higher prices.  If we approve this proposal, I am in favor of either the three or four year proposal.  Mayor Garcia stated, the City got hit with a large cost that was out of our control.  Of the $1,274,000 in costs we are recouping, we are reimbursed generation costs so the impact will be less.  Commissioner Howard stated, the additional charge will just sunset earlier.  Alan stated, my thought was not a proposal or to confuse the issue.  I felt it should be treated like a sales tax, based on what you spend.  No one has same usage every month.  It is not much different on the payoff, but it is basically who is paying the cost based on usage.  The hard part is trying to apply a logical solution to an extraordinary circumstance.  In my information based on a percentage of usage, the real impact is with large commercial customers.  Mayor Garcia stated, your proposal has a large impact on large commercial customers.  I agree the information on today’s proposal is more reasonable based on the three or four year term.  I want the effect on citizens to be as little as possible but still based on consumption.  The proposal for four years is more complimentary.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I like the four year proposal based on consumption.  I am listening to the schools and feel this is lessoning the impact on them over time.  Commissioner Thompson asked, these numbers are based on usage for the entire month?  Shauna stated, yes the month of February.  ON A MOTION by Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh to approve the four year proposal based on consumption as presented seconded by Commissioner Farris.  MOTION carried on a VOTE of 4-1 with Commissioner Thompson casting the dissenting vote.  Mayor Garcia stated, I appreciate staff and the hard work you have done to come up with a plan.  Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh stated, I appreciate staff providing all the information. 

ADJOURNMENT WAS HAD ON A MOTION Vice-Mayor Brumbaugh seconded by Commissioner Howard.  Motion carried by unanimous VOTE, meeting Adjourned at 5:32 p.m.  


ATTEST:                                                                               John Garcia, Mayor


Mary P. Volk, City Clerk