The Sky 97.3>Audio & Video on Demand>>Gainesville City Commissioner Todd Chase talks about the $750M GREC deal

Gainesville City Commissioner Todd Chase talks about the $750M GREC deal

Mar 6, 2017|

Bob Rose - March 3 - 8:30AM

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

Three X. Mean a 39 Obama Rochelle live local thanks for tuning in a very important issue. It's sides Jeanne are you the city of Gainesville. The possibility of buying this biomass plant is correct planted by most accounts people would agree the thirty year deal is very expensive not a great deal. And so what do you do to try to lessen the negative impact it would be used Gainesville city commissioner Todd chase morning Todd thank god. OK okay. I'm happy to be here you against it it's a last night we found out that our Condit for spring break was canceled out of the blue on innocence of anybody has a Condo on the beach from the eighteenth through 25. I called Bob a little note okay I'll have a happy life. Melted melted Gary Condit also now it just okay so yes. Take gas from out from under him out of OK so absolutely the life of a parent we can all relate my daughter's in the currencies Barbara we're so this is for the electorate county high school reality T two toll free at the reason you don't like dollar gone around no no no no no and now yes no outlook of Namibia have me in here. Thanks for coming through item put an end I you know I guess I get some emails from some are concerned citizens that are really on top Witt thank you for these folks to do that. And then you've got into Gainesville sun and now I'm not gonna pick on them but you know they you don't always get what's that in the the whole picture sometimes so fair enough. I was under the understanding there's some kind of secret. Deal going on devise a by the biomass plant why why would now be done in public. Right so so. I should say first although I think it's important that we all awards are working together and I think he can probably improved communications this thing Bubba Bubba. People need to understand southerners there's nothing going on in secret there's no secret dealers know. There's there's no there's nothing going on what is going on is actually how it works and government house and how we. But how we get business done which is this week we have staff that are full time in this case the general manager utility who. Work on work on deals they bring us deals you know we'd give the general manager of the utility. Brought us signatories. Something million dollar SA piece off for a grade this past year along the CFO of the people who at the company. Do we didn't we didn't negotiate that back and forth in public all they that we have these professionals to bring. Stuff together then they bring to the commission and its our option that point to talk about this monitors levels we want. And and so I want people understand something first that when this contract got signed an eight years ago as you said earlier it was a 2009. It was signed after. One year of negotiations. And and in over the course that your the general manager in that case was. Going back and forth to commissioners and talking and he never had a public meeting not one. After the agreement was it was agreed to until the very end the had one meeting. Where they talked about the depth of the drastic changes in the points and they would like to the prayer meeting they talked about it in the sign and agree to it. That's where we don't we're not gonna do that this commission is not going to sign anything without. But I mean we talk last night we're gonna have community workshops probably throw all the districts we're gonna have. The schools involved the businesses involved citizens involved. It has to take a long time. So if a negotiation takes place like the general manager now here you had bill our ski. You know he he he deals with correct on a regular basis so. He can beat him and the commissioners have said before if we can work got a better deal we'll look at it so he's been talking to them and maybe throw tossing out some ideas in numbers but no matter what he and Greg come up with it doesn't matter until. The commission. Would agree to it and Greg Quinn agreed to it so in other words. Every so called offer is contingent upon the agreement of both parties come together and in what you're telling me minutes ago off fear was they. If if Greg says I yeah that's acceptable then. We bring it to the people of gains will say hey look. Here's the offer here's what we're looking at here's what ocostas here's what the possible savings is here's the upside here's the downside. An annual several meetings like. They were able while they are more and several yeah by I think Purcell a step back this is an incredibly complicated. And complex situation and is concerned our community for years. And so I understand what people are sensitive understand why there's a lack of trust I mean we we've we've I've dealt with my entire town office. You know from when the park commission brought that Contra report. But but what I want people to know is that. Here's what support intimate. If it makes sense to buy this thing at 750 million dollars where the price maybe we can show the path to where would save twenty. You know we showed last night that this thing could save close to 27 point five point seven million dollars a year. If bump somebody out there was this right now what I would say is I want a commission that's going to guarantee if they do that that those savings we've. Put the customers because what should worry your body out there is a Gainesville city commission feature that takes that saves spends a lot of other stuff. Yes consider routes a top solution doesn't result in any. I rate reductions for people that are paying some of the highest. Electric rates in the state. When we return. And I guess several questions related to this one is OK let's say in a perfect world. People city commission everybody gets together public behind it and you make an agreement and you bias from wrath. What happens that what happens if it breaks down. What about other electrical needs and and deer haven etc. Gainesville city commissioner Todd chase is gonna answer those questions next on the Bob Rochelle news talk 97.3 this guy. Three hours because there's a lot of weekdays a lot to react to shown much news talk 97.3. This time. Did you see one on about Rochelle live and local Gainesville city commissioner Todd did they chase is what is talk about GRU the possibility of the city buying it. Other Greg plan. And look it's a mass and ask you. Frankly I commissioner chase. Can you make what you've been handed when you came in as a commits or can you make. Shy Nolan that. You know I'll open our building that Bob but I I think that. At some point of people I would hope that the cannot I'll be off the commission into Europe wants so after this decision this is a syndrome may Prague on May. I just think people need to understand I think the lesson here is that we're talking off of offline. Bomb this is why support looking at the it very utility board mean I think that these decisions. Where were made for four well number of reasons that that. That really made sense initially. To start looking into our sources but then it just it just off the rails because. Hum. Politicians got involved I think we tell his I think we can I think we can save. Money on people's bills that are some of the highs in the state. Well there's there's a there's an election coming up America always is a very important I think the future commission is important. Because there's fewer profits is still think you're wasn't that it was a mistake when the big deal that we don't have the highest rates on the hill. Well that's what people need to pay attention to these things aren't that that'll happen overnight they happen. They happen over time and and I would tell anyone that's listened to this that. But you know if you think you're utilities should be something that who's been you know used to promote someone's social agenda of their political ideology. Then the timing you have the right down the well where it's been. And the biomass plant in no happened partially as a result of now when people don't actively participate in their local government I mean that's how old the deal was able to us you know kind of cruised through even though there are Mandy red flags and there was a commissioner at that time that you wanted it to happen that way. The bottom line is. And folks that are served by Jerry you are stuck with it. The folks at work for GR you are not. You know bad people and anyway they're trying to perform a good service. For their customers. But at the end of the day you on the commission and in in your fellow commissioners have to try to figure out the best way. To deal with this mess that you've been handed. These high rates and bring rates down so. You're gonna look at I would assume buying the plan. If if it actually turns out to be a cost saver when if you by the plant and then it it breaks with a ten yard. Yes these viewers earlier so what's interest and that is of them the plant if we bought the plant and the plant never operated again we wouldn't we would actually say and a Bob's saving more money. Because we would not have to pay for anyone who work there. And and that's the thing that that people just don't understand how bad this contract was and how how sad it is that we're in this situation. He mentioned the customers all new more than a third of our customers live outside city limits and they are corporate county and we charge them more we charge surcharges to their charges. And they have no say. In the utility. They have no say in how this stuff operates and that's something I've fought for but again it is there is a small group of ardent people who think that jeer you is there a mechanism for votes funding city government. And their pet projects. And also Ford for doing things that can promote. The things that they believe and when they control to life's most essential electricity and water and so the lesson people reduced pay attention. And of Jerry you is important to you stay involved and get involved and stay on top the city commission. How are we going to have wants and what worries me the most like has said what worries me the most is as if we strip we do take this risky. You know things that still could save us you know almost a billion dollars over the course of 28 years or seven years. But where that billion dollars ago would go to the rate savings from the customers. Or will give it to some future commissions. You know project on the on the general government side or will it go to to us and socialized. That we we pay four to five times more for solar power is tell because we have that solar feed in tariff. Which is insane. We have people making a ton of money off of twenty year fixed contracts for solar. So we can run around say we've got high solar there's not a low income person whose towns got solar on their roof and there's not a low income person tone is benefiting from solar. And and that's the kind of stuff that worries me what if we do this. We'll of secrecy be responsible enough to manage utility like the utility. Not like an experiment. I hate to cut you off because we could definitely continue this so we'll do it again people city commissioner Todd chase always appreciated come in and two and a half months let's get you in here as often as we can't. And we'll keep up to speed on what's going on what you are you in bracken and any other cities and thank you. Talk or thanks them. 856 on the Bob roadshow live and local nick is in for Zhang high and coming up. Then 9 o'clock stretch so stay tuned to news talk 97.3. This guy.