PSC Coming to Eastern Kentucky

By: Marcus Conroy Email
By: Marcus Conroy Email

The Public Service Commission will be in eastern Kentucky for several meetings starting Tuesday.

Officials will be there to listen to comments concerning Kentucky Power's proposed rate increase.

The first of these public meetings will be Tuesday night at Pikeville High School. Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford says he will be there, and on behalf of Pike County, he says there should be no rate increase.

The winter storms in December caused power outages across eastern Kentucky, including half the homes in Pike County.

"34,000 families at one time in this county had no power, some as long as 12 days," Rutherford said.

He says the amount of time without electricity was due to Kentucky Power's failure to clean up the roads of debris and trees. Letcher County had many outages as well, and officials want to hold Kentucky Power accountable for the same reason.

"I don't know why they didn't take money to clean the right-of-ways, which led to all the power outages," Letcher County Judge Executive Jim Ward said.

Around the same time, Kentucky Power sent a letter to all customers, saying they were planning to raise rates 35% in homes.

"Our idea is to get the amount that is sufficient to us to continue reliable, efficient service," Ronn Robinson, with Kentucky Power, said.

This upset many in Letcher County, and officials invited Kentucky Power to a public forum in January. Many protested the proposed increases, and Ward says it would be difficult for people to afford power.

"Are they going to decide whether to pay power bill, or buy meds. I don't think that's right," Ward said.

"Bad time for America, bad time for Kentucky. It's a bad time for any type of rate increase," Rutherford said.

The Pikeville meeting will be at the high school Tuesday at 5:00 p.m. The meeting in Hazard will be Wednesday at 5 p.m. at HCTC.

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