Bucks County Herald

Power fee hike would impact Perkasie budget

PPL hiking rates for maintenance and infrastructure

MELINDA RIZZO

Perkasie Borough Council announced a $20,000 increase in monthly transmission costs for electricity from its provider would impact the borough’s budget for years to come.

Borough officials revealed the news at a regular business meeting Aug. 7.

Under its agreement with AMP Electric, such an increase could hike the borough’s budget as much as $240,000 per year, said Jim Purcell, Perkasie Borough Council vice president. “We will have to plan for that increase in our 2018 budget, and for years to come,” Purcell said.

PPL, which supplies the power under the agreement with AMP, is hiking its transmission costs for maintenance and infrastructure improvements over the next several years.

“It’s not just us, they are spreading it (the increased costs) around to everybody,” said Perkasie Borough Council President Jim Ryder.

It was unclear at the meeting how borough officials would shore up the unexpected, and additional pricing for electricity, or how much of those costs would be passed on to consumers.

According to the borough’s website, electricity customers in Perkasie saw a 10 percent decrease in costs in 2016.

A residential customer in Perkasie, using about 695 kilowatt hours per month would pay about $112.79 for electricity, the website said.

Because Perkasie Borough is in the electricity supply business, residents and commercial customers are not permitted to shop for providers and must purchase electricity through the borough’s program.

In other news: Three Perkasie Police officers received commendation awards for outstanding service in June and averting a potentially disastrous situation. Officers Steven Graff, Anthony Gro and Sgt. Alex Sprouse were praised by Perkasie Chief of Police Steven Hillias for their handling of a call to serve a mental health warrant that had quickly escalated.

The officers were able to escort the person safely without incident, thanks to a compassionate approach.

“The officers were serving a mental health warrant,” when it became clear the object of the warrant had a loaded shotgun in the house and had effectively barricaded himself inside it.

While the Central Bucks Special Response Team were called and moving into position, Hillias said Gro was able through several phone call contacts to persuade the man to set aside his weapon and come peacefully out of the house on his own.

“This is an excellent example of de-escalation,” Hillias said, “this type of handling is always important, but it is especially important (right now),” he said.

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