LAKE PLACID - The village electric department is working with the New York Power Authority on a solution to alleviate higher-than-usual electric costs.
The village went over its 28-megawatt allotment of hydroelectric energy due to the colder-than-usual winter weather. The village was forced to buy excess energy over the allotment, which costs more money. The electric bill for January was $1.5 million.
Peter Kroha, the village electric superintendent, proposed a modified version of one of the options available to the village from the power authority.
"This proposal will allow Lake Placid to place a more definitive time line on recovery of these significant incremental power costs and more appropriately apply the increased costs to the customers who used the power during that period," Kroha said.
The PPAC charge, increased electric charges, will be spread out over the next two bills in February and March to those people who used the excess energy.
Kroha said he didn't think it was fair to make people who have summer homes in Lake Placid pay more for energy they didn't use in the winter months, which is what the power authority suggested the village do.
Lake Placid Mayor Craig Randall said he liked the plan Kroha offered.
"I can see the sense of that, and it still allocates the cost reasonably to the people who created the costs," Randall said. "I'd like to see that work if we can."
Randall and Kroha agreed that if they do not hear back from the power authority soon, they are leaning toward going ahead with the proposal.
"We have to do our billing soon," Kroha said. "If we don't hear back from them, we will do what's best for our customers."
Lake Placid is one of the only municipalities on a budget plan which the power authority is not a big fan of, Kroha said.
"They want to get us off the budget billing plan, and we don't want to do that, and they're trying to force us off of it," Kroha said. "We want to stay on the budget plan. This is what we hope is a temporary issue."
The budget plan payment currently costs the village about $275,000 a month in energy costs. Some other municipalities pay a bill for the entire amount of energy they used that month, no matter the cost. The budget plan payment allows Lake Placid to spread out the amount of a payment.
Kroha is uncertain what the exact cost will be in the upcoming months because the cold weather could continue to be a factor on the electric usage.