Naperville Chamber urges city to 'get budgets in order'

Nicki Anderson, president and CEO of the Naperville, Illinois Area Chamber of Commerce penned a letter last week to the state's Energy Institute highlighting efforts by the city and DuPage County to reduce greenhouse gases.

"Last week, the Legislative Committee hosted two organizations to specifically discuss the cost of energy in the Naperville area," Anderson said. "DuPage County Board member Tony Michelassi spoke about the COOL DuPage Program."

Anderson explained that in 2012, DuPage County officials gave the go-ahead for the Cool Counties Initiative "as a way of accepting new environmental challenges."

"The Cool program set goals of reducing greenhouse gases from 2007 levels by 10 percent by the year 2020 and by 20 percent by 2030," Anderson said. "To move these goals forward, DuPage County has brought together a Green Government Council comprised of utility and energy efficiency experts and community members to reach these goals. Putting DuPage County on the forefront of energy savings, they have created a program to use newer technologies and local involvement to reduce greenhouse gases and save residents/businesses money."

In the letter, Anderson also referenced Naperville City Manager Doug Krieger's public presentation on the continued electric rate discussion for the City of Naperville residents and businesses.

"Doug referenced the financial challenges currently being faced by the city’s electric utility: restore 'capital' maintenance program to an appropriate level, repay a $13.2- million loan to the water utility, and restore cash reserves to the appropriate level," Anderson said. "After a brief history of the deregulation of the electric utility we were then provided with the fiscal year update. Fiscal Year 2015's actual loss was $3.3 million and Fiscal Year 2016 has a projected income of $1 million."

The meeting concluded with officials discussing seven possible actions by city council — five of which would result in rate increases.

"As you know, the chamber has been talking about this rate increase coming for the past two months," Anderson said. "We have advocated strongly that the City of Naperville must get their budgets in order and do their due diligence of balancing the budget. Make your voice heard. Tell us your thoughts on this proposal. If you have questions about any of the information provided, call our office anytime."

The Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce is the largest suburban chamber in Illinois and has received five-star accreditation by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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