Ottawa County: Gas aggregation issue on ballot in Oak Harbor

Larry Limpf

Voters in Oak Harbor will decide if they want to implement a natural gas aggregation program in the village that will be on the Nov. 3 ballot.
If approved, the village would become a member of a coalition of local governments that negotiates for lower utility rates. Residents will have the option of not participating in the program even if a majority approves the ballot issue.
Mayor Quinton Babcock said the administration and village council are endorsing the aggregation program that could save residents approximately 8 percent on their utility bills.
“The village would like to implement this program to save Oak Harbor residents money,” the mayor said. “But we can only do so with their permission (on Nov. 3). As a single customer of Columbia Gas’ system you don’t have any bargaining power and you have to accept the price they give you – or look for another supplier. Having a natural gas aggregation program would allow the village to bargain as a unit to achieve better prices for everyone.”
The aggregation program doesn’t require residents to conduct business with a new company. While switching to a new gas supplier negotiated by the village, residents would still use Columbia Gas infrastructure, billing service and meter reading.
Residents will see a line item change on their bills that would indicate the supplier and price if they participate in the aggregation.
Village voters will also decide whether or not to renew a 2.87-mill, 5-year property tax levy that is used to fund the police department.
Other issues that will be on the ballot in Ottawa County in The Press circulation area include:
- Village of Rocky Ridge will decide a 5-mill, 5-year renewal levy for fire protection and an additional 5-mill, 5-year levy also for the fire department.
- Harris Township will decide a 1.3-mill, 5-year renewal levy for maintaining cemeteries.
- The Park District of Ottawa County is seeking an additional 0.6-mill, 10-year levy for walking and biking trails.
- The Genoa Area Local School District is seeking renewal of a 3.9-mill, continuing levy for operating expenses and an additional 4.9-mill, 5-year levy for expenses.


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