At their April 22nd meeting, the Tallahassee City Commission voted to provide financial relief for City of Tallahassee utility customers. The vote approved a one-time rate reduction that will keep $6.3 million in the hands of local residents and businesses at a time when the COVID-19 outbreak has put the brakes on the local economy.
The Commission also moved to delay the scheduled implementation of new fire services fees. No rate change for this fee is anticipated in Fiscal Year 2021, which runs from October 1, 2020, through September 30, 2021.
After the vote Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey said, “I am very proud of the City Commission tonight who took the extraordinary step to identify $6.3 million in savings in our utility department that we are passing back to you, the utility customers of the City of Tallahassee.”
The latest move by the Tallahassee City Commission follows two votes by the Blueprint Intergovernmental Agency (IA) which provided a $1 million in grants to for-profit companies and $1 million in grants for non-profits.
The Blueprint IA includes all the members of the Leon County Commission and the Tallahassee City Commission.
These relief efforts come as the economic impacts of the business shutdown implemented to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 continue to be felt across Leon county.
The moves, along with federal and state initiatives, are intended to help struggling families and individuals while leaders decide how and when to open up the Tallahassee local economy.
The vote by the City Commission means that City Electric Utility customers will see a 27 percent discount on their May bill. The savings for each customer will vary based on their usage. On average, a typical household may see a reduction of $30, while a medium-sized business may see a reduction of $1,800.
To finance the program, the City is passing along projected fuel cost savings that the Electric Utility anticipates receiving in the coming months. Previously, the City of Tallahassee implemented the Utility Relief Program, which allows customers facing financial hardships to defer the payment of a bill until this fall.
Did everyone else’s utility bill jump last month? A of people’s bills went up by $70-$100 with no clear reason why.
Mayor John Dailey said, “I am very proud of the City Commission tonight who took the extraordinary step to identify $6.3 million in savings in our utility department that we are passing back to you, the utility customers of the City of Tallahassee.”
Utility rates fluctuate with the cost of fuel, which is down. It’s been done previously in 2015 and 2013 and is not a true reduction of the utility rate. It’ll go back up. Come back, Mayor Dailey, when Commissioners truly reduce the budget or approve even a net zero budget. But, hey, I’ll take sending less of my paycheck to the tax and spend Ds while it lasts.
Any destruction to report from the Bradfordville area? NWS tweeted a tornado was spotted there.
And this vote in support is a surprise to anyone? It’s certainly appropriate to consider all options when trying to help during these extraordinary times, but this was a done deal once the proposal was leaked and/or preannounced… a practice being used by local, state, and federal managers, administrators, and establishment bureaucrats far too often. A wag the dog scenario, if you will. It effectively renders the Mayor and Commissioners – and their supposed function – and moot point. Oh, they do a little song-n-dance for the cameras, but the vote has been preordained (or pre orchestrated as it were) and they will ultimately rubberstamp staffs’ agenda.
By leaking and/or preannouncing these proposals, it eliminates all possibility of an earnest and open deliberation on the plans’ merits and potential long-term impacts. Much like the Federal Government’s unnecessary increase of $600 in unemployment pay, this will be hard to undo when things return to normal. Government has become a glorified “pusher” of poverty. Give them a little taste, get them hooked, and you’ve got ‘em and can control their every move.
Does that mean the commissioners have capped out on their deferred compensation plans?
And did they all get enough grant money from us to keep their businesses open?
I don’t want them to go without, I’ll give up my $5.00 dollar rebate if it helps them survive.
I think the Plan is to give us the 27% reduction and when the Reduction is over you will have forgotten what you WERE used to paying so they will then be able to go UP 35% earning an actual 8% increase.