PAGE TWO I i * « •* * Wood River GivenDataon Muny Plant City Attorney Reports on Power Utility Procedure Lists Steps Needed Condemnation, Purchase And Building Operations Portrayed Condemnation of public utilities property, or more direct regulation of it by the City, both provided for in Illinois statutes, were presented to the Wood River city council Monday night as alternatives in the quest for a method of giving the community lower power rates. City Attorney Francis Manning took up both these angles and some other minor ones in a report which had been requested on the subject by the council two weeks before. At the time the council queried him previously, he said informally that condemnation would be possible under the municipal ownership statute. The council ordered the report placed in form suitable for publication, and included in the minutes of the meeting. Order Business Survny In addition to making a survey of the statutes relating to the city and public utilities, Manning's report took up In detail the city's responsibility to the Illinois Power tt Light Co. under the existing 40- year franchise, adopted In 1913. Preliminary to any action under either of the statutes reported on, the council adopted a motion, presented by Dickinson, empowering Mayor Holcomb to direct a survey of the city which would disclose approximately the amount of power used by domestic consumers, and the amount of money they paid tor It. The motion limited expenditures on th« survey to $100, at Holcomb'o request. • Alderman Groves pointed to a possible linking together ot this survey, with a study of the local Utilities Act. taking advantage of which would give the city greater control over the privately owned ! public utilities, in gathering valuable data Which would promote. a sounder conclusion as to the advisability of erecting a municipal power plant. In his report on the legal angle of the power situation, Attorney Manning pointed out once more that while the city was bound by a 4B.year franchise until 1061, it could erect and operate' a municipal pow- the the Hamer school the it committee 20. er plant in competition with privately owned system, the E«5ontlal Points Essential points under the P t «bMe Ownership Act were summarized OB fellows; V 1. The act provides, in general, for the construction and operation Ol a public utilities plant by a municipal organization. 3. The question of establishing the municipally owned plant ana operating It must be submitted to the voters, as must the questions of financing it by a general bond issue, and a special Improvement ordinance, or by a bond issued payable for revenue of the plant. 3. The city can actjuire property belonging to a public utilities company, or any part of It operating within Its corporate limits, under condemnation proceedings. 4, Funds COM be raised for the purchase entailed in the condemnation proceedings by bonds up to 10 percent In excess ot the value of the property to be acquired, but the condemnation procedure must be submitted to the voters, 6. If public utilities certificates, to be retired from Income ot the plant, are floated, and the plant mortgaged under thorn, the city may reserve the right to operate plant 30 years after any foreclosure which might occur, or might fix rates in cane those foreclosing should take ovor operation. The city Is given a year's grace period past the due date oi ltd bonds before they are declared defaulted. On Local Supervision More Important provisions of the Local Utilities Act, pointed out in the report, are ag follows: 1, The question of making the net effective must bo submitted to the voters within 30 clayx after n petition bearing a number of signers equal to 36 percent of the city's voters nt the moot 'recent municipal election has been submitted to the council. 2, Under the act the city o»n set rates chargeable by privately owned public utilities within Its limit*. 3, The city la empowered to require the public utilities to make to it the name regular reports It sends to the Illinois Commerce Commission, and can require further reports, or has the right to examine the public utilities' account books, papers, and other properties, 4, Th* city can request the Illinois Commerce commission to furnish It with engineering services at no expense to the city. B. The utility itself can obtain a review, before tiie commerce commission, of any regulatory act ot the city which It deems unjust. Seek Paving Refund ,In connection with a query by Gftwens as to the possibility of a claim by the city against the state for the paving of Wood River avenue and the section of Route 159 within the city, Mayor Holcomb und Attorney Manning advised that a previous claim WM clue for consideration by the present session of the Illinois legislature. It WM lumped with similar claims of other communities at the last regular session of the legislature, and. left to investigation of a «pe- olal subcommittee, which WM to report back at the present session, they woalled,; ' to Coal the Illinois picket was plcketers official employes by and Moro and the to ^ pit Pointing, expected the last Show -*- high schools the the university Football — Fanny her time mixed 3 18.