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Alton selects geotechnical firms, continues to push AEP’s increase in rates

The Alton City Commission discussed amendments relating to the GLO grant, and geotechnical firm selections and declared a resolution against AEP’s increase in rates.

Procurement Policies and procedures for federal grants and award funds were approved by the Commission 5-0. According to the procedure for grant payments, the city of Alton must provide eligible signatures of the appropriate signers after the invoice is received. The invoice must be approved by a city official with the grant request.

After being amended by the city commission on July 26, 2022, procurement policies and procedures became amended Tuesday.

For the second agenda item for the evening, the commission considered a selection of geotechnical firms to aid with publicly and privately funded city developments.

Four firms applied: L&G, Raba-Kistner, MEG, and B2Z.

“Every three years, the City solicits proposals for geotech companies for their lab testing services for public and private projects,” said Cristina Garcia. “Staff recommends we use three companies, and the companies that were higher scored [are] Raba, MEG, and B2Z.”

According to a scoring sheet, Raba-Kistner scored 97.5, while MEG scored 83.25, and B2Z 81.5.

For the third agenda item, Alton approved a consulting agreement with Pharr-based energy management company Valiant Energy, LLC.

According to a brief overview in the city meeting agenda, Valiant will “assist in the procurement of electricity for city accounts and assist with any disputes between the city and the electric provider.”

“Over the last few years, the administration has handled the procurement of electricity,” said City Manager Jeff Underwood. “This year we’re looking to turn the responsibility over to the broker, Valiant Energy Sources.”

Lastly, the city spoke on Resolution 2023-34, authorizing other cities served by AEP any participation in seeking a reduction to AEP’s request to increase electrical rates for infrastructure purposes.

“We’re joining the with the city of McAllen and many other cities to push back, get those rates down so our customers, our citizens don’t see changes, and certainly us too,” Underwood said, mentioning the current rate of $2.09 per resident, a $47.3 million increase city-wide.

“That’s a little bit too much,” said Underwood.

The meeting then adjourned.


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