A public meeting Thursday night in Orillia gave the public a chance to weigh-in on the City’s sale of Orillia Power’s distribution arm to Hydro One.
Orillia host public forum on #HydroOne deal for distribution arm of #Orillia Power #hydro #onpoli https://t.co/qIwDhXhjX3 https://t.co/ta8z0sbz0N
The sale is dubbed a “poles and wires” sale to avoid confusion, meaning the town isn’t selling Orillia Power, just its distribution. The public was told the difference to service during outages will be the colour of the truck, that’s it.
The public forum comes after the Ontario Energy Board rejected the $26 million dollar sale to Hydro One. Since that ruling Orillia filed a motion asking the OEB to review and revise the ruling.
OEB Reject Deal With Hydro One
In its 23-page decision, released on April 12th, OEB said the deal would have meant higher rates for customers after year 10.
In the deal, any increase in year 6 through 10 would be kept to the rate of inflation – with the first 5 years seeing a 1 per cent drop in distribution charges. Around 20 per cent of electricity bills in Orillia are tied to distribution.
The hundred or so in attendance had mixed opinions on the deal. Young father and local business owner Josh Morgan, who is an urban planner in Orillia, says its an opportunity worth taking a risk on and the good outweighs the bad.
Public Offers Up Mixed Opinions
Sandra Cadeau and the “We Own It” group say we need to hold onto our public assets. They believe Hydro One are just dangling a carrot in front of Orillia taxpayers with the promise of more jobs.
Others suggested the city owed it to future generations to make this deal happen while some pondered what happens next if the appeal of the OEB ruling fails?
Talks for the deal first got underway back September of 2015. A year later Hydro One had agreed to acquire OPDC for $26.35 million and its nearly $15 million of debt and regulatory liabilities, for a total of $41.3 million
Mayor Steve Clarke released a YouTube video highlighting the economical development and spinoff that comes along with the deal.