Archive for Wednesday, December 11, 2002

Recent ruling in BPU case in Baldwin’s favor

December 11, 2002

It's not that long-dreamed of rebate check yet, but Baldwin City got a bit of good news Friday when the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the cities suing the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) for electrical charges in 1999.

What the ruling does is overturn the motion of summary judgment from the first trial in November 2000. The appeals court ruled in favor of giving the cities another chance in court.

"The funny thing is I think the city got a Christmas present and BPU got a lump of coal," said City Administrator Larry Paine.

Baldwin's portion of the lawsuit involves $300,000 in surcharges that were made by BPU to the city in August of 1999 when the Nearman generating station went off line because of a fire. The cities have maintained that contracts with BPU specified certain rates in emergencies instead of the going rate at the time.

Although there will be a new trial, which hasn't been set yet, the possibility of rebates to Baldwin residents is still way off on the horizon.

"It's like winning the first game of the season, not the championship," said Mayor Ken Hayes. "I'm not trying to say it's not good news. I've just been trying to keep this in perspective. What we have is another trial opportunity. We have yet to realize any monetary gains. It could happen."

Paine also said residents need to keep Friday's decision in perspective.

"It's not an extra important development in us getting to the end resolution to get a refund back to the citizens of the community, but it gets us back to the position that we knew we were in last winter," said Paine. "We wanted to make our case to the jury and now we will have that opportunity."

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