Voters face questions on electrical aggregation, bonds, vehicle stickers
BY CASEY TONER firstname.lastname@example.org November 2, 2012 9:06PM
Voters fill out ballots on Tuesday, March 20, 2012, at St. Matthew's Lutheran Church in Urbana, Ill. Voters around the state went to the polls for the Republican Party primary and other state and local races. (AP Photo/David Mercer)
Updated: December 5, 2012 6:30AM
When Southland voters go to the polls Tuesday, there will be several referenda on the ballot, but perhaps the most significant has to do with electrical aggregation.
Residents of Alsip, Blue Island, Chicago Heights, Hazel Crest, Worth, Oak Lawn, Lockport, Manhattan Township and New Lenox Township will vote whether to give their local government the authority to arrange and negotiate rates for their supply of electricity.
With electrical aggregation, ComEd will still deliver electricity to homes and small businesses and send out bills. If there is an outage, those affected can still call ComEd. The only thing that changes with aggregation is who supplies the power.
“The way it is now, people can sign up with a vendor and get (power) from a third party and there is a cost for that,” said Tim Schloneger, Lockport city administrator. “But through this referendum, we can take everyone to the marketplace at once and the cost is cheaper. I don’t see a downside to this.”
Lockport finance director Erik Brown said residents of communities that have aggregation see a 30 percent to 40 percent reduction in their electric bills.
Meanwhile, voters in Flossmoor will decide whether the village should issue $7.28 million in general obligation bonds to pay for improvements to the village’s water system over the next eight years. If approved, taxpayers with a $7,500 tax bill will see a $98 increase, those with a $12,500 tax bill will see a $162 increase and a $20,000 tax bill will see a $260 increase, according to the village’s website.
Additionally, Alsip voters will decide whether to eliminate vehicle stickers in exchange for adopting an electric utility tax.
In a statewide referendum, voters will decide whether to make it tougher for state and local governments to improve retirement and pension benefits for public employees.