Vero Beach Utilities Director Sloan resigns

VERO BEACH — Vero Beach Utility Director R.B. Sloan informed city officials Tuesday he will be stepping down from the job he took just two years ago.

Sloan’s departure, effective Nov. 6, ends a tumultuous tenure in which electric customers were saddled with astronomical rate increases this summer to pay for transmission fines run up by current provider, Florida Municipal Power Authority. Those charges led to some of the highest rates paid in the state.

Sloan is leaving the area to move closer to his hometown as Utility Director in Danville, Virginia. City Manager Jim Gabbard said in a press release that Sloan’s resignation was accepted with “regret” and that  customer Service Manager John Lee will be acting director of the Electric Utility.

For his part, Sloan pointed to the transition to the Orlando Utilities Commission as the city’s new power provider on Jan. 1 as one of the milestones of his time in Vero Beach. Officials expect electric rates to drop considerably once that exchange takes place, despite a double-digit rate increase that will be considered by the City Council next month.

“I came to this position as Director of Utilities with the goal of stabilizing power supply cost and I believe that has been accomplished with the soon-to-be-implemented Orlando Utilities Commission agreement,” Sloan said in his letter of resignation. “This contract in conjunction with the new electric rates currently under consideration by the Florida Public Service Commission are two of the major milestones I had targeted for completion. As these are implemented, I believe this is an opportune time to transition.”

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