THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE WANTS TO HELP ROPER LOWER IT’S ELECTRIC BILLS… BUT NOT IN THE WAY THE INDUSTRY HAS REQUESTED.  THE ROPER PLANT, OWNED BY G.E. – IS SERVED BY NORTH GEORGIA ELECTRIC MEMBERSHIP CORPORATION… AND SAYS THE LAFAYETTE PLANT HAS AMONG THE HIGHEST ELECTRICITY COSTS OF ANY GENERAL ELECTRIC FACILITY.

SINCE ROPER IS IN THE CITY OF LAFAYETTE ELECTRIC DEPARTMENT’S TERRITORY, NGEMC HAS TO PAY THE CITY A 4-PERCENT FRANCHISE TAX.  IN A RECENT LETTER, ROPER REQUESTED THAT THE CITY DROP THE 4 PERCENT FEE… BUT THE MANUFACTURER APPARENTLY DOES NOT WISH TO SWITCH TO CITY OF LAFAYETTE POWER AT THE PRESENT TIME. 

IN DISCUSSION AT MONDAY’S CITY COUNCIL MEETING, MAYOR NEAL FLORENCE SAID IF THE CITY REFUSED TO COLLECT THE FRANCHISE FEE FROM NGEMC FOR THE POWER IT PROVIDES TO ROPER… THEY WOULD HAVE TO REFUSE TO COLLECT THE FEE FROM ALL OTHERS, AS WELL. THAT WOULD MEAN A LOSS OF ABOUT 233-THOUSAND DOLLARS ANNUALLY… AND THE CITY CAN’T AFFORD THAT LOSS, THE MAYOR SAID.  IF ROPER SHOULD CHOOSE TO CHANGE IT’S SERVICE FROM NGEMC TO CITY OF LAFAYETTE POWER, THEY COULD SAVE MORE THAN 4 PERCENT… AS THE CITY’S RATES FOR INDUSTRY ARE LOWER. THE MAYOR SAID LAFAYETTE WILL JOIN ROPER IN GOING BEFORE THE STATE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION AT ANY TIME THEY MAY CHOOSE TO MAKE SUCH A CHANGE IN THEIR ELECTRIC SERVICE PROVIDER.

BUT THE COUNCIL DECLINED TO TAKE ANY ACTION ON ROPER’S REQUEST THAT THE FRANCHISE FEE BE DROPPED, AT THIS TIME.

WQCH