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Newton Falls should continue with rate reduction

Newton Falls residents probably are skeptical about reports that the village is considering a 5.8 percent reduction in electric rates.

Council held first reading this month to approve a new rate schedule to take effect in January. If approved, 600 kilowatts usage that costs $95 will be reduced to about $86 under the new rate structure.

Village Manager David Lynch said planned improvements at the electric substation on Church Street will not be done immediately, so until that project moves forward, why not send the money back to the electric users?

What a novel idea!

Lynch’s refreshing idea is one rarely heard in government.

For now, repairs and maintenance will keep the substation operational.

Of course, the estimated $3.5 million improvement must be done at some point. No one wants to sacrifice necessary upkeep. So, when that time comes, cost and rates will be considered, city officials said.

The first phase, though, is to address rate reductions to help residents without damaging the power infrastructure.

“The average residential rate is going down between 5 and 6 percent. It is great we are able to reduce the rates and help our residents. Better times are ahead,” Lynch said recently.

Additionally, the village plans to begin using digital meters to help more accurately calculate usage.

Council will have further discussion on the rates and the substation at Monday’s council meeting before a final reading and vote.

We applaud village officials for thinking of customers first.

We encourage close scrutiny and discussion of the issue at Monday’s meeting, and if it still makes sense after that, then we urge them to move forward with the new rates and cost savings.

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