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COLUMBIA CITY â€” First steps were taken to withdraw Columbia Cityâ€™s electric and water utilities from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission (IURC) at Tuesdayâ€™s Common Council meeting.
The respective ordinances passed unanimously on the first readings. The second reading of each ordinance will be at the Tuesday, April 9 meeting of the council, along with a public hearing.
On hand to speak to the council was Buzz Krohn of O.W. Krohn, a firm that advises for electric and water utilities. He said the cityâ€™s desire to withdraw from the IURC was not negative on the regulatory commission.
â€śThe IURC does a great job (with for-profit utilities),â€ť he said. â€śFor us, it is a bureaucratic expense and the cost is not worth the benefit.â€ť
In summary, Krohn said if the withdrawal was successful, there would be more accountability on the local level.
â€śIf we opt out of the IURC then the buck stops here,â€ť he said.
One citizen was at the meeting to offer public comment. Dick Goodwin, who is a member of the Whitley County Patriots, said many residents were concerned about the potential loss of oversight on the state level.
â€śWeâ€™re totally fed up and scared to death from Washington D.C. all the way to local level (with politics),â€ť he said. â€śYou are representatives and youâ€™re doing a good job, but to the general public, please be crystal clear with them, make them understand why you are doing what youâ€™re doing.â€ť
Councilman Jacie Worrick asked Goodwin if he and the people he spoke with would be more comfortable speaking with politicians on a local level or to someone in Indianapolis.
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