REB reports natural gas price hike

Russellville Electric Board general manager Charles Canida gave a report during the REB’s regular meeting Aug. 16 regarding his attendance at the Aug. 3 TVA All Customers meeting in Nashville.

He said part of the meeting’s events included the TVA presenting a plaque to the REB in recognition of strong leadership and partnership with TVA, as well as for REB’s pandemic relief efforts.

“TVA also presented some information, some of which, of course, was non-public info,” explained Canida, “and I won’t be disseminating any of that info, but what I can tell you is that TVA reported that they remain financially healthy.”

He added TVA reported on fuel cost adjustment increases and “stressed and pointed out” that there could be even more increases in fuel cost adjustment in the future.

“They reported natural gas had increased very significantly and it was likely to do so again in the foreseeable future,” continued Canida, “and that, unfortunately, fuel cost adjustment increases could be with us for potentially the next five years.”

He said TVA predictions are largely based on “the natural gas projections that they’re seeing so far,” noting he received an email that morning that said the fuel cost adjustment for September would be down slightly.

“It won’t be much,” added Canida. “They didn’t say what it would be, but they said it would be down slightly for the month of September, but then it would be going right back up.”

In other news, Canida reported contractors have been “hanging cable around town.”

“That contractor is actually working for Charter, (now called Spectrum) and they’re attaching a fiber cable to their existing cable line,” he explained.

Canida also reported that REB’s annual TVA report is “complete on time,” adding it has been submitted to TVA for approval.

“Our auditor has completed our audit, and they will be coming to a future board meeting in the not-too-distant future to present the results,” he said.

Canida requested Board authorization to purchase a skid steer attachment called an industrial grapple bucket.

“What it allows us to do is, when we cut a tree, for instance, if there’s a lot of underbrush in an area where they’re cutting, this attachment allows them to pick it up with a skid steer and just move the tree.”

He added it “is pretty amazing to watch,” adding the city owns one currently and REB had borrowed it but had to return it recently due to expected city use soon. Canida said he thinks “we can benefit greatly from that (proposed purchase).”

Purchase price was reported at $5,512.80. The Board approved the purchase.

The next meeting will be Sept. 20 at 6 p.m. at the REB warehouse.