Cheaper Electric Rates



April, 2005

Last month North Andover voters rejected another property tax override for a new police station.

This means town officials will have to get creative if they want to find revenue for a new police station or any other capital project in the near future.

The voters of North Andover have spoken loud and clear – raising property taxes is not an option; the town must live within its means. Other communities are facing the same type of budget woes and Proposition 2 1/2 Overrides. With possible layoffs and reductions in services, what’s a community to do?

Well, former Haverhill Mayor Jim Rurak seems to have a creative solution that, if emulated, could save millions for local taxpayers. (see Rurak’s column on Page 8)

 Beginning March 1, 2005, the state is no longer regulating parts of our electric bill.

Unfortunately for us, the rates can now be raised every three months “at the whim of the electric company.” Mayor Rurak suggests pooling our resources and having communities like Haverhill purchase electricity wholesale and then resell it to citizens at a cheaper rate. This, Rurak says, will generate millions in new revenue for the city of Haverhill.

 We at The Valley Patriot support this creative idea and believe it is one brilliant step toward allowing private individuals or organizations (like taxpayers associations) to pool their resources and buy electricity in bulk to offer discount rates to their members.

 With budget shortfalls in each community, Mayor Sullivan in Lawrence, Mayor PoIlard in Methuen, Mayor Fiorintini in Haverhill and town officials in Andover and North Andover should be looking for new ways to pay for services without raising taxes. This is clearly one of them.