SWANTON — An informational meeting on a vote that could double local electric rates drew a measly three people Monday evening, two of which were village or town officials.
The point of the Sept. 19 vote on replacing the Orman Croft facility’s rubber bag dam is to avoid doubling electric rates — replacing the dam means the hydro facility, located at the edge of Highgate Falls, could return to full functionality, and Swanton, which owns the dam, could resume generating its own power, rather than purchasing power from the outside market.
But village manager Reg Beliveau Jr. said Monday evening that spreading misinformation threatens that vote.
Village officials stressed that a no vote could have severe economic consequences for the Swanton Village Electric Department’s customers, who currently pay one of the lowest electric rates in the state, about 0.12133 cents per kilowatt hour. Green Mountain Power, for example, is currently charging 0.14840 per kilowatt hour.
The hydro dam ruptured and slowly deflated June 14, just over one month after village trustees approved a motion to move forward with replacing the dam. Water levels dropped 15 feet. The Highgate and Swanton fire departments monitored the roadways near the dam for flooding, but none came.
For more on the dam vote and the potential costs of a ‘no’ vote, pick up a copy of Tuesday’s Messenger or subscribe to our digital edition.