Long-term Future of Dover Electric Utility Mulled - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Long-term Future of Dover Electric Utility Mulled

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Dover City Hall Dover City Hall

DOVER, Del. -- After a recent committee meeting where the long-term future of Dover electric utility was discussed, some city residents and business leaders have different views on how the value

No immediate action on the utility and the city's aging power plants is being sought, but the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce has asked the city to form a committee to look at the long-term viability of the electric utility in Dover.

Acting City Manager Donna Mitchell said the city is looking into rates and a number of issues connected to the utility, noting that a previous study found the city utility has fairly good rates for residents but the rates for businesses, which are based on usage and demand, are less competitive.

However, she said the city does not think the city will plan on selling its power plants, like the McKee Run Generating Station, or the utility itself, a move that could net Dover more than $200 million but also potentially lead to a property tax increase to offset $10 million in annual revenue.

Some Dover residents like Helen Drummer said they hope the city wouldn't take that option.

"I wish that [property taxes] wouldn't go up. If they go up then we'll be struggling trying to pay that and the other bills too," she said.

Judy Diogo, president of the CDCC, said members do have concerns about electricity prices but don't necessarily think the utility needs to be sold. She said the city should consider that option if investment in the utility would not be viable for the city.

However, she said the city needs to consider how competitive it is for businesses, especially since the rates could affect how larger corporations consider Dover as an option for business.

"Is it best to keep it? To maintain it? To invest in it? Or to sell it? What's going to be the best thing for everybody?" she said. 

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