Collinsville city officials are considering their next move following the narrow defeat last week of an ordinance that would have authorized the city to negotiate a better electricity supply rate. The measure was defeated 1,052 to 1,003.
Mayor John Miller said the county is planning to put a similar measure on the November ballot for the unincorporated areas of Madison County and the City Council may look into putting the question in front of voters again at the same time.
"You can only put things on the ballot so many times and people don't want to see it anymore," Miller said. "We'll probably discuss it a little bit (at the next meeting), but it's not a major thing right now. We have until November."
City officials said the ordinance would have allowed residents and small business owners to have lower electricity rates. The defeated measure authorized the city to use "municipal aggregation," meaning garnering the buying power of several municipalities to find a better electrical supply rate. Those households or businesses that did not want another electricity supplier would have had the option to opt-out of the arrangement.
Miller said he believes a combination of low voter turnout and lack of communication defeated the ordinance in Collinsville. The city hired New York-based energy consulting firm Good Energy L.P. to handle the process of communicating the complex ordinance to the public.
"I think the thing was people didn't understand it," Miller said. "I can't say that Good Energy did a good job of promoting it. We had it on our web site, on our Facebook page, we talked about it ... but the only thing Good Energy did was send out one postcard about a week (before the election).
"If the council decides to go at it again and look at putting it on the ballot in November, I think we'll take a more aggressive approach and do more talking it up ourselves than allow someone else to do it."
Contact reporter Ramona C. Sanders at 618-344-0264, ext. 136
Madison County communities that approved the ordinance in last week's election:
• Alton, 1,242 to 1,085
• Bethalto, 619 to 366
• Glen Carbon, 862 to 635
• Godfrey, 1,595 to 968
Madison County communities that voted the measure down:
• Collinsville 1,052 to 1,003
• Granite City, 1,395 to 1,364