Ottawa city properties switching to Homefield Energy as its electricity supplier

Small rate decrease could add up to big savings for city

Ottawa City Hall

Ottawa will be paying less for its electricity use in city-owned and -operated buildings, the City Council voted Tuesday.

The city will enter into a two-year agreement with Illinois Power Marketing, doing business as Homefield Energy, which provided a lower rate quote than the current supplier, Ameren.

Commissioner Wayne Eichelkraut said that the move is for city properties only. He said although the search for lower rates included a new rate for businesses and residences, none was found better than the existing rate.

“We always take a serious look to see if a move can save us any money,” Eichelkraut said. “It’s pennies on the dollar. The [new] rate we’re getting may not seem like much, but with the amount of electricity we use at places like the water plant, wastewater treatment plant, the Scouting Museum, the lift stations and all of our other buildings, it can add up to $50,000 to $100,000.

“That’s a lot of money for us, so we look for that every year to save what we can.”

The council also approved a tax increment financing agreement between the city and the YMCA, an annual move that will provide the Y with a portion of the funding promised by the city toward the construction of its new building on the riverfront.

It is part of a larger Canal District TIF plan put out by the city and approved two weeks ago.

“This is just one of a number of agreements we have going with the YMCA,” Mayor Robb Hasty said. “This is a way for us to get them the money that we’ve pledged for the project.”

The meeting opened with a public hearing conducted by North Central Illinois Council of Governments Executive Director Kevin Lindeman regarding the city’s application for a Community Development Block Grant. Those funds would assist in the city’s storm sewer separation projects mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

The construction cost is expected to run at about $1.241 million, with administrative costs in the neighborhood of $30,000.

In other action, the council:

  • authorized agreements with FGM Architects for the design of the new Fire Station No. 2 and Fire Station No. 3.
  • approved the bid of $1,420,106 by Advanced Asphalt for the city’s 2024 Street Maintenance Program.
  • approved the quotes from Bonnell Industries for a Ford F-550 pickup truck with a snow fighter package and for three snowplows.
  • approved a management agreement with the Conservation Foundation regarding care of Fox River State Park, located in the Dayton Bluffs area.
  • approved the bid of $7,650 from Grand Rapids Enterprises for the construction of a shelter at Peck Park.
  • approved employment agreements for three part-time North Central Area Transit drivers to move to full time. Eichelkraut said the agency continues to look for more full-time drivers.
  • opened a collection of bids for city property no longer in use. City Clerk Shelly Munks was expected to contact the winning bidders Wednesday.
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