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Letter to Editor | Reader says Sherwood subsidizing NLR city budget with electric franchise agreement

Dear Editor

Regarding the Sherwood special election on Ordinance 1953:

All three electric providers have service reliability over 99 percent. The Arkansas Public Service Commission regulates rates and service charges of Entergy Arkansas and First Electric Cooperative.

The PSC does not regulate municipally-owned utilities. NLR Electric can change its rates and fees by a vote of the NLR City Council. NLR Electric customers in Sherwood have no representation at the NLR City Council.

Remember 2007, when NLR increased electric rates 38 percent?

For many years NLR Electric Department has been transferring money to the NLR General Fund.

2012: NLRED transferred $12 million.

2011: NLRED transferred $12 million.

2010: NLRED transferred $10 million.

2009: NLRED transferred $5.6 million.

2008: NLRED transferred $5.8 million.

These are large sums of money! The 7,000 NLR Electric customers in Sherwood are subsidizing North Little Rock government.

NLR Electric estimates Sherwood customers are 20 percent of their base. A total of $12 million is $2.4 million. That would be equitable revenue sharing.

Why is the City of Sherwood settling for $470,000 from NLR Electric and adding a “tariff” only to NLR Electric’s Sherwood customers’ bills? How was that determined to be equitable revenue sharing?

Everybody in Sherwood pays the same franchise fees for all utilities except electricity. Since this issue has come to citizens’ attention, the Sherwood City Council has passed new franchise fees on other city utilities that are the same for all Sherwood residents and businesses. Now that is fair and equitable.

Doris Anderson , Sherwood

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