Johnson City Power Board hopes to separate from city

JOHNSON CITY, TN (WJHL) – The Johnson City Power Board may soon be transitioning to an independent authority, in the hopes of partnering with a private company.

CEO, Jeff Dykes, presented his reasoning behind the proposed move at Friday morning’s community meeting at the Millenium Centre.

The Board of Directors wants to make the move so that the Power Board can diversify and explore public-private partnerships. Dykes said they are looking forward to exploring new services for their customers.

“The opportunities that are out there for our customers are say in a solar community, the opportunity for those customers to participate in a solar community at a much lower cost than they would if they wanted to put that solar on their home,” Dykes said.

The company will remain public although they want to separate from the city and the CEO said that customer’s rates will not change.

The transfer process involves refinancing nearly $40 million in debt, money the Power Board is currently paying off.

Although tax-payer dollars are not currently being used to pay off that debt, Karyn Milner, a concerned citizen, told News Channel 11 that she is concerned about the company re-issuing bonds.

“I still have hesitations because I see what has happened with bond issues. Where governments who are struggling continue to pass these finances down the line to other governments and struggled and struggled and struggled,” Milner said.

The next community meeting is on Aug. 12 at 6:30 p.m. at Memorial Park Community Center. The commission is set to vote at their next meeting on Aug. 18.

Copyright 2016 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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