Councilman Heady tells County Commissioners his talks with them are done

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Vero Beach Councilman Brian Heady, who had been providing Indian River County Commissioners with a monthly update on the status of the possible sale of the electric utility, told the board this week he doesn’t see the need for any more presentations.

“We finally got Florida Power and Light involved and we are now engaged,” he told the Board of County Commissioners this week at their regular Tuesday meeting. “They are engaged with staff in a dialogue.”

 

 

Heady began speaking at County Commission meetings in January when he felt he was being stonewalled by his fellow council members in investigating the possible sale of the Vero Beach power plant.

In one memorable exchange in February, retiring City Manager Jim Gabbard rushed over to the County Commission meeting to seek to rebut claims made by the first-term councilman.

Heady informed the commissioners this week that he had a meeting with FP&L officials and was assured that county customers on the Vero Beach grid would see a reduction in rates should a switch occur.

“The understanding I had when they met with me was that in an eventual deal, county customers that you represent would pay FP&L rates,” he said. “That would be a 20 to 30 percent savings to your constituents.”

He also provided more details on what a possible deal might entail.

“The goal would be to absorb the city workers and the city would get fair market value in an eventual sale,” he said. “The Public Service Commission would make sure of that. Also, the taxpayer debt would be wiped out.”

With that he thanked the commissioners and said he did not plan any further discussions with them.

“My continued presentations here I don’t think are meaningful,” he said. “What you have done is to get the city engaged, we owe you a debt of gratitude for keeping this in the public eye.”

Heady, however, did leave the door open a crack to return.

“Unless something happens, and if it does, I’d be happy to come back,” he said.

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