City Council Special Meeting, April 12, 2018

April 29th, 2018  |  Published in Observer Reports

City Council Special Meeting
April 12, 2018

Present: Council members Nancy Moore, Tres Roeder, Sean Malone and Rob Zimmerman; Mayor David Weiss, CAO Jerry Chaikin
Also Present: Chuck Keiper, NOPEC Executive Director; Nicole Sweet, NOPEC Relationship Manager; Stephanie George, Director, NextEra Energy Services; David Jankowski, NOPEC Marketing Director
Absent: Council members Juliana Johnson Senturia, Earl Williams, and Anne Williams

Called to order by Mayor Weiss at 6:06 p.m.

Mr. Weiss introduced the Northeast Ohio Public Energy Council (NOPEC) representatives who would give an update on the option for Shaker Heights membership rates. Shaker Heights had requested a 100 percent renewal option for customers who receive electricity from NOPEC.

Ms. Sweet provided background on the NOPEC program as well as the relationship with Shaker Heights. NOPEC is a nonprofit governmental entity formed in 2000 and has 220 member communities in 14 counties. NOPEC provides competitve pricing for members and returns funds back to the communities in the form of Energy Efficiency Grants. Shaker received $60,445 in 2018, as well as a $1,000 Community Event Sponsorship. Law Director William Gruber is the Shaker Heights representative on the council. The council sets up three-year cycles with members having the option to leave after a three-year commitment. This three-year cycle affects how they set up contracts, because they can only make guarantees for three years.

For their sustainability efforts, NOPEC has partnered with NextEra for gas and electric supply. NextEra is the largest owner and operator of wind turbines in the United States. Through their trust, EarthERA, NextEra uses funds to build utility-scale renewable energy. This process is different from most green initiatives that are post-generation of power. This model is called “future-spective” on renewables, and money generated is spent on locating and building renewable generation.

Currently, Shaker residents have a 50 percent renewable energy content at no additional cost. NOPEC and NextEra are in the process of developing costs for a 100 percent renewable energy content program that will be an “opt-in” program available to residents. The current plan is to announce the program mid-summer 2018. NOPEC is aware that if the cost is more than 2-3 percent of going rate, they will see a drop-off of customers. NOPEC will report back once the program is established. NOPEC has requested that the city assist in getting the word out about the program once the parameters are defined.

Following the NOPEC presentation, Ms. Chaikin presented two changes to capital projects at City Hall. The current elevator renovation was budgeted at $150,000 and is underway.  The plan is to extend the elevator to the 2nd floor of City Hall. There is a second plan to design and renovate the space left by the health department in 2018, budgeted at $250,000. The proposal is to combine the projects to get access to the third floor (former health department and former fire department). So, the new cost for the elevator is $150,000 plus $70,000, which will make the third floor much more usable. Proposals will be presented at the next City Council meeting and will also include a review of department space in City Hall to see if space usage could be improved. A proposal has not been developed yet; Ms. Chaikin wanted to inform Council that Planning, Building and Public Works will discuss this issue over the next couple of weeks. The changes would require public meetings to be held in Stephanie Tubbs Jones Building through July.

Meeting adjourned at 7:38 p.m.
Sarah Divakarla

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