CEL&P calls off rate increase

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Crawfordsville Electric Light & Power called off a rate increase request Monday to spend more time studying the changes.

“The utility will continue to work with its consultants on these matters and will bring this issue back to the city council when action is ready to be proceeded on,” Mayor Todd Barton told council members.

The council was scheduled to take the first vote on the request, which received a nod from the fiscal affairs committee last week.

CEL&P had proposed a nearly 9% overall rate increase beginning next year due to a billing formula change made by the city’s energy supplier. Residential customers would have seen a smaller hike.

“We thought we were ready,” CEL&P manager Phil Goode said in an interview Tuesday, adding there was more work to be done with consultants.

The utility is consulting with accounting firm Crowe Horwath and Spectrum Engineers.

Goode said a date hasn’t been set for bringing the request back to the council.

In other business, a proposed ordinance restricting sales of smoking transmission devices in retail stores is off the table — for now.

The council voted down the ordinance until state lawmakers bring Indiana’s legal smoking age in line with the new federal smoking age of 21. The Indiana House of Representatives approved a bill to raise the state’s smoking age, and the legislation is now being debated in the Senate.

“Until the dust settles on the federal and state changes, I think we just need to stand on the sidelines and then we can kind of evaluate once they all meet and we know where we’re at,” Barton told the council.

Indiana State Excise Police is enforcing the federal smoking age, and a city police officer told the council that local retailers are not selling tobacco products to customers youner than 21.

The council also re-appointed members to city boards and commissions. Phil Wray will serve another four-year term on the board of zoning appeals. Conrad Harvey and Dan Rogers will remain on the redevelopment commission for another year.

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