Ironing out OMLPS history facts


To the editor:

There is inaccurate and misleading information being circulated that the Oberlin Municipal Light and Power System was “established for the provision of light, heat and power in 1927.”

In fact, Oberlin village council in 1932 declared, “Despite grave losses of employment here and losses sustained by people in business and in the professions in Oberlin within the past three years, no movement looking to any reduction in this maximum rate has been made by the company here during the entire period of their contract.” “No such gesture of fairness is expected” from the Ohio Electric Power Company.

In the November 1932 election, the citizens voted 11-1 to build our electric power plant. Construction commenced in 1933 and the formal dedication was held on Friday, Sept. 28, 1934, providing a 25 percent savings to all village customers under the rates then charged by the Ohio Electric Power Company.

In regard to the natural gas shortages in the 1970s, demand heavily outweighed supply and prices became exorbitant. The Weatherization Assistance Program was created in 1976 and the Home Energy Assistance Program was established in 1981 under the U. S. Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act to help low-income families and others in paying their energy bills and reducing their energy costs.

The Lorain County Community Action Agency has been the designated agent for these programs since the early 1970s. It received more than $1,650,000 for HEAP and WAP from State and Federal sources and spent over $1.43 million on energy services and energy assistance payments in 2015 alone.

Oberlin electric rates are slated to increase by 15.5 percent; sewer rates by two percent; water rates by three percent before the end of this year. The new EPA mandated storm water utility will add at least another $10 a month for the average residential household and much more for large property owners.

Council should decide the renewable energy credit issue so as to be fair to all utility ratepayers. Do we really need to recreate programs and entities that have been in existence for the past 40 years?

Tony Mealy