FPFD board negotiates electric bill with county

Discusses potential purchase of new fire engine

FABIUS TOWNSHIP — The Fabius-Park Townships Fire Board discussed its costly electric bill with St. Joseph County 911 Central Dispatch Director Dennis Brandenburg during its meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 7.
An electric tower used for the county’s 911 services is currently housed on the department’s property, sharing the same electric meter. After the board noticed the costly electric bill, talks between the board and the county on how to address the issue began.
Through discussions with Board President Ed English, Brandenburg said the original statement of the tower doubling their monthly electric bill is “exaggerated.” Brandenburg compared the Fabius Township meter with one housed at the Sturgis Fire Department. He said in Sturgis, using Sturgis Electric, the electric bill runs between $86-96 per month on average.
“Sturgis probably has one of the highest electric (rates) in the state at 27 cents per kilowatt-hour,” he said.
Indiana Michigan Power — for the same amount of electricity — is at a rate of 12 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to Brandenberg. The FPFD is currently using American Electric Power and had a electric bill of nearly $600 for the month of October.
Brandenberg suggested a “temporary meter” could be installed to be checked monthly, in order to better understand the issue at hand. He said if the fire department hired the electrician used by the county it would cost nearly $600 to install the meter.

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