S. WHITLEY: Inks pact for electric help

SOUTH WHITLEY — The South Whitley Town Council approved a partnership between the Columbia City Electric Department and the town of South Whitley that would make provisions for electrical personnel.Larry Whetstone, who is currently Columbia City’s Electric Department Superintendent, will now serve South Whitley with electrical concerns and situations needing his level of expertise.At last night’s meeting, South Whitley Town Council President Tony Starkey signed the agreement retroactive to the council’s meeting held Oct. 9. However, a firm start date has not been determined as the town’s current electrical supervisor is still deciding on a retirement date.The new partnership with Columbia City will have little effect on South Whitley town residents. In a press release presented on behalf of the council, Town Attorney Greg Hockemeyer wrote, “The agreement is purely to coordinate limited operations between the two utilities and will not change how customers transact business or report problems.”If customers have issues with electrical service or should there be a power outage, the South Whitley utility office will still handle those concerns. As far as billing questions, the town’s clerk-treasurer will continue to handle the billing for services. “Columbia City will not take calls directly from South Whitley residents,” according to the press release.Hockemeyer also wrote, “The agreement stems from South Whitley’s efforts to maintain operations in light of anticipated personnel changes. Personnel from the Columbia City utility will be assisting and providing equipment as requested by South Whitley Utilities Manager Dennis Eberhart.”For more information, contact the South Whitley Utility office at 723-4741.