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Gillette wants to keep Cam-plex as a power customer - Gillette News Record: News

Gillette wants to keep Cam-plex as a power customer

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Posted: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 12:00 am | Updated: 12:43 pm, Tue Nov 5, 2013.

Gillette wants to continue to supply power to Cam-plex, even though the multi-events facility is not in the city limits.

The City Council decided in a 4-to-3 vote during a work session Monday night to terminate an interim agreement between the city and Powder River Energy Corp. concerning electrical service to Cam-plex.

Cam-plex is in PRECorp certified territory, but the city has been providing electricity through a 1983 agreement between the city and Campbell County. The city and the county formed the joint powers board that runs Cam-plex and the two essentially pay for all its operations.

In that agreement, the city provided electricity to Cam-plex with the consent of PRECorp, then known as Tri County Energy, because the city's intention at the time was to annex Cam-plex by 1990. Since annexation never happened, PRECorp believes it should be providing power.

The two entities have been arguing about the issue for months, and they decided to work toward a resolution of the issue through an interim agreement on Jan. 7. That agreement stipulated that the city would pay PREcorp .005 cents per kilowatt hour on all energy consumed by the Cam-plex facility, the RV park, and the Campbell County Fire Department Station 7.

That payment, which amounted to about $1,200 to $1,300 a month, would be the profit PRECorp would make on a monthly basis if it were selling electricity to Cam-plex, Mayor Tom Murphy said.

The agreement would have been in effect for six months had the council not decided Monday night to terminate the agreement. Council members Louise Carter-King, Ted Jerred and Murphy voted against ending the contract.

City Administrator Carter Napier and Murphy said the majority of the council ruled out annexation and other options, essentially ending the "truce" period they had earlier agreed to.

"By ending this agreement, I think we are in fact saying that we feel that negotiations any further are not warranted," Napier said.

Napier said that it's possible that the issue will end up before the state Public Service Commission to decide.

The letter was sent from the Mayor's office to PRECorp CEO Michael Easely.

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