Posted: Nov 8, 2012 5:08 PM by Mitch Bryan
Updated: Nov 8, 2012 6:44 PM
KINGSVILLE - The city of Kingsville is expecting a big check from AEP after a mix-up on its electric bill. The city has been paying too much for its light poles for the past few years. And now, the city's getting a refund.
In the next 2 weeks, the City of Kingsville will receive a $104,000 check from AEP, after a mix-up with the billing. According to Kingsville's Director of Finance, Mark Rushing, a law was passed in 2003 that required AEP to stop using old mercury vapor bulbs in city street lights. Those bulbs cost more money to run and used a higher wattage.
So, AEP set out to replace the old bulbs with new, sodium ones that burn less electricity. But the price difference on some of the light poles was never adjusted.
According to the city of Kingsville, some of those light bulbs that had been changed to the sodium bulbs were still being charged as the mercury vapor ones. Meaning the city was paying more money than they should have been.
"So we went through and got a current inventory of the streetlights," said Rushing.
Which involved cataloguing and checking over a thousand streetlights throughout Kingsville. That work landed them a settlement of $104,000.
I asked the City Manager, Vince Capell, "What are you guys going to put that cash to?"
He replied, "That's a good question. It's also easy to respond to, One is, we want to put it into our streets."
Capell says that the 100 grand will go toward fixing the city's roads and he's happy to have the financial boost to back it up.
"It's very nice! I mean, we enjoy that. Because so many times, we have the opposite happen, where we get a letter from the Federal Government saying, you got to do this, you got to do that, oh, and by the way, it's going to cost you $200,000 a year. So, we get plenty of that, so it's just nice to have this to offset that," Capell said.
The city Director of Finance told us that because they decided to do the inventory themselves, in-house, they did not have to split the refund with an outside auditting company. Which might have left the city with only $50,000 instead of the full $104,000.
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