May 8, 2003
front page
more news
ad information
contact information


Voters soundly approve natural gas aggregation

With just a small number of residents going to the polls in Tuesday’s special election, Yellow Springs voters overwhelmingly approved Issue 4, giving the Village the authority to negotiate natural gas rates on behalf of villagers.

Unofficial results from the Greene County Board of Elections showed that 90 percent of those who went to the polls voted in favor of the ballot issue, while just 10 percent voted against it.

With 409 voters casting ballots, 370 Yellow Springs residents voted yes; only 39 residents voted no.

Voter turnout was by far the lowest in recent years. Just 12.8 percent of the 3,185 registered voters in Yellow Springs participated in the election.

At the polls, local voters were asked to allow the Village to establish a municipal opt-out aggregation program. The approval of Issue 4 allows the Village to get involved in the natural gas market.

Residential and small-business customers will now automatically be included in the buying group. Local residents would be able to opt out of the group and choose their own natural gas supplier.

By forming a buying group, officials have said, the Village is more likely to secure a better rate than individual residents.

The Village will work with AMPO, Inc., an affiliate of American Municipal Power of Ohio, the Village’s wholesale electricity supplier, to develop an aggregation program, negotiate gas rates and educate the community on natural gas issues. The program will not provide additional revenue for the Village.

Despite the passage of Issue 4, the Village will not set up its own natural gas utility. Instead, Vectren, the local natural gas supplier, will continue to deliver gas to town, as well as respond to emergencies, read meters and bill residents.

Officials have said that the Village could secure a natural gas contract by the early fall, in time for the fall and winter heating season.


—Robert Mihalek