VERO BEACH – Florida Power and Light has sent a letter to the City of Vero Beach offering up to $100 million cash to purchase the city’s electric utility.
The letter states that the power company would offer Vero Beach electric customers the same rate current FPL customers currently have – an approximate 15 percent savings.
The electric company would also promise to keep Vero Beach’s electric employees for two years and grant them access to employment opportunities.
FPL, according to the letter, would take on Vero Beach’s pensions for the electric utility employees.
FPL’s purchase, contingent on city approval, would offer customers several “important benefits” including:
“Residents of Veto Beach will enjoy electric service at the same low rates that FPL customers receive, currently a 15 per cent discount over the City’s rates.
“Based on current prices, City of Vero Beach electric utility customers would see a benefit of over $11 million in the first year alone and more than $100 million in savings over time.
“Residents and businesses of Veto Beach will receive the benefits of FPL’s industry leading energy efficiency programs, best in class customer service and exceptional power delivery reliability.
“FPL’s reliability is the best in Florida and among the best in the nation.
“FPL repeatedly has been recognized as a national leader in customer service.”
According to the letter from FPL, the city would receive up to $100 million that the city would be able to use at its discretion. FPL mentioned in the letter that the funds could be used to pay off debt or other obligations.
Also, FPL would assume certain liabilities that would have otherwise been the city’s responsibility.
Other highlights from the letter include:
FPL to pay property taxes to local governments – estimated $1.7 million-plus, including $500,000 to the Indian River County School District.
FPL to pay franchise fees – estimated $1.4 million a year.
FPL to make annual lease payments for certain property.
City to retain ownership of electric plant property; City to sell or use property when plant is decommissioned.
FPL to pay for future dismantling power plant, related assets.
“We respectfully request that the (letter or intent) be presented to the City Council for approval and authorization for the city staff to enter into formal negotiation of an agreement for purchase and sale, which would then be presented to the City Council for final approval,” wrote Pam Rauch, vice president of FPL’s Corporate and External Affairs.
The Vero Beach City Council meets Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. Whether the letter will addressed at that meeting was not immediately known.
This article to be updated with more information.