On October 16, 2019, the Marshall County Fiscal Court held their first reading of a revamped version of the ordinance passed earlier this year on August 26th. If approved the ordinance would allow a $7 per month-per electric meter fee to be placed on residential and commercial electric bills in Marshall County. Jackson Purchase Energy, West Kentucky Rural Electric, Benton Electric and TVA are named as collectors of the fee. The fee will pay for the Counties 911 service.
Jackson Purchase Energy (JPEC) and its Board of Directors remain opposed to the Fiscal Court’s efforts to force a rural electric cooperative to collect a 911 service fee on the local government’s behalf because such a mandate will result in burdensome administrative costs and higher electric bills for consumer-members.
JPEC understands the need for an appropriate funding mechanism that will allow local governments to fully fund vital 911 services; however; electric utilities are not the correct avenue. Kentucky law gives the County other lawful means of funding 911 that continue to be ignored: collecting the fee themselves or through PVA.
We are very disappointed that the fiscal court continues to try and pass this ordinance despite the concerns we have shared, especially the high costs associated with collecting fees through multiple private organizations and our lack of authority to enforce payment. We take seriously our responsibility to act in the best interests of our consumer-members. We will continue to stand-up for our consumer-members and fight the County’s attempts to fund 911 through local electric utilities.
We will keep you updated on jpenergy.com and our Facebook page.