Traverse City commissioners met with the Traverse City Light and Power board Monday night at a joint session to discuss an in-depth efficiency study. Commissioners call the 98-page hometown studies report presented "very informative." Topics discussed in the report included staffing levels, governance, and power supply issues.
Commissioners say the TCL&P chairman will be implementing all of the suggestions, particularly taking advantage of its membership with the Michigan Public Power Agency. If TCL&P purchases its power from the MPPA now (while prices are low), commissioners say this will secure a low cost, which means lower rates for residents in the future.
"One big decision and probably the most important one for area residents is the issue of, 'do we purchase power, or do we generate it ourselves?' The report, in my opinion, clearly states that there's advantages to purchasing that power versus building your own source of power, but that's a decision that ultimately has to be made by the light and power board with interaction from the community itself," said Michael Estes, Traverse City Mayor.
Estes also said securing long-term power agreements would diversify the number of utilities, and not force reliance on one source completely.
"It's a reliability factor and price factor," said Estes.
"This would ensure and secure the future of getting a good price," said Mary Ann Moore, Traverse City Commissioner. "Energy is cheap right now, but it's not always going to be, so this is the perfect time to keep that price low for years ahead."