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Website puts a number on your electrical savings

Bill payers can measure real benefits of aggregation move

Published: Friday, Nov. 23, 2012 1:00 p.m. CDT

Morris residents can now go online to see how much money they have saved by the city joining the Electrical Aggregation Opt-Out Program.

In April 2011, a referendum passed to allow the city to take bids on electricity supply for the city’s residential and small commercial use. People still receive their electricity bills from ComEd because ComEd is still the distributor, but the city now tells ComEd from where to get the electricity.

By grouping the city’s residents and small businesses, Northern Illinois Municipal Electric Collaborative (NIMEC) took bids from suppliers and the contract was awarded to whomever came in the lowest. Residents who opted out of using the cost-savings program will not see a savings on the website.

Mayor Richard Kopczick announced at Monday’s city council meeting that NIMEC now has a website for residents and small businesses to see their savings.

By going to www.mycomedbill.com residents can see their individual monthly and annual savings. It should only take about 20 seconds to check, according to the announcement from NIMEC given to the mayor.

In other matters, the mayor also announced that the city’s action last month to refinance the 2006 bonds for the construction of the east-side sewage treatment plant, is saving more money than expected.

It was estimated the city would save about $260,000 with the bond re-issuance, but the interest rate went from about 4 percent to under 3 percent and, therefore, the city is saving about $437,000.

RENEWED COMPLAINTS

Residents living near Narvick Avenue were back before the council complaining that their neighbor Pete McGrath is running an automotive business out of his home.

In September, nine residents came to complain, but Monday it was just two: Kathy and John Maddox. Kathy Maddox told the council she understood that things take time, but in the last two months nothing has changed.

“Everyone is kind of frustrated. We know things have to be done legally, but it’s just getting worse,” she said.

The police are continuing to be called, she said, but he’s still working on numerous vehicles a day in his garage and driveway and is parking them all over the street. He also is allegedly still calling his neighbors names and acting in a threatening manner. 

McGrath was not present at the meeting, but told the Morris Daily Herald previously he does not take money for his work and works on the barter system. McGrath used to have an automotive shop, McGrath Auto Works & Exhaust off Gore Road, but he had to close it.

“I’m frustrated and aggravated. They keep saying I can’t do what I love, what I know how to do and what I went to school for,” he said previously.

He also stated then that he tried to work with his neighbors in a friendly manner, but they wouldn’t give up and it has gotten ugly on numerous occasions.

McGrath claims he only works on family’s and friends’ vehicles and he does it mostly for trade, although he said he has received some cash. He has argued he is not running a business and this is obvious, he said, because there is not a business name on his house, he has no business cards, and he is not soliciting.

It is against city ordinance for a home occupation business to exist without meeting six requirements, which includes “no mechanical equipment is used, except such as is customarily used for purely domestic or household purposes.”

The city has filed a complaint for conducting an unlawful home occupation against McGrath, said City Attorney Scott Belt. The parties went to court and McGrath asked for more time to get an attorney, said Belt. At the second court date, McGrath failed to appear.

The complaint is still going through the court process, said Belt.

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