Great Falls

Jan 3, 2011 11:43 PM by Kay Rossi (Great Falls)

ECP board discusses SME meetings

Electric City Power Board members who didn't attend the Southern Montana Electric meeting discussed the reasons for their absence during a regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening in Great Falls.

ECP Board Member Bob Jones says he felt the city's presence would be inappropriate after SME failed to provide specifics on their plan for the utility's future.

When the city received notice from SME about the company's desire to host the meeting, city representatives asked for more information.

Jones says he was under the impression SME would provide exit strategy information by mid December that would help with city's financial losses.

He says the ECP board didn't get the information until the first of the year.

Jones said, "We did not have our city attorney available to review the contents of that particular document but we will in the near future and will get back with S.M.E. It sounds as if S.M.E. Talked to many of the customers today at their 1:30 meeting at the La Quinta and discussed some of the information contained in that document."

The city also discussed its presence at the last SME Board meeting in Billings on December 17th.

A letter from one SME member urged the board to apologize for chastising, berating and attacking City Manager Greg Doyon and City Commissioner Bob Jones over the city's desire to dissolve ECP.

Jones feels he and Doyon defended themselves well and would be willing to attend another SME meeting in the future.

As far as the proposed ECP cooperative goes, customers would need to draft a proposal to present to the city if they decide to go that direction.

Board members will discuss the possibility after they've had the chance to review information from SME.