Cairo Association of Teachers - Newsletter

CAT Tracks for April 29, 2009

From the WSIL TV Channel 3 Website...

Link to Original Story

Cairo Utilities

By: Rachel Gartner

ALEXANDER COUNTY-- It's been an ongoing battle in Cairo. People say they're paying twice as much for electricity as other residents of Southern Illinois. Tuesday night they tried to pressure city leaders to step in.

At the beginning of April, concerned citizens formed a committee aimed at reducing the high rates. On Monday night, the group asked electric provider Cairo Public Utilities for cooperation in lowering the rates. CPU said no. Tuesday evening the committee went to the Cairo city council.

The Committee for Utility Rate Reduction and Enforcement, or CURRE, offered the Cairo City Council a request- A request for help in lowering their utility bills.

"We are, we wanted to let the city council know that we want to work with them, not against them because they're elected officials for us."

Bishop Derek Eurales says the group wants the city to work with their utility provider, Cairo Public Utilities, to help break a lease between the two signed in the 1990's. Mayor, Judsin Childs, says the lease and the request need to be carefully looked at before he comments.

"I would need to look at this thing, as well as, talk with the council about this thing."

Officials with the Illinois Coalition for Community Service say, denying the community a response, just as CPU did, is exactly what they expected...

"The sense around town was that this was what we were going to get," explained economic developer Nicholette Dolin. "But we wanted to give it a good faith effort and try to form that partnership with the city and CPU board in the hopes in working together in this."

After the council meeting members of the utility committee gathered to plan their next step. Dolin says the group put up more than $200 of their own money to get a copy of the lease agreement between CPU and the city. Their plans also include taking a trip to Springfield to lobby legislators.