Vidalia rebate thanks goes to state treasurer

Published 12:19 am Friday, November 13, 2015

No one should have been surprised by the Vidalia Board of Aldermen’s decision Tuesday to provide hydroelectric fund rebates to the city’s retail power customers.

The city’s residents became a bit restless over the summer after the Louisiana State Treasurer John Kennedy found himself in a position to suggest the city follow its own rules.

Thank God Kennedy spoke up when he did. He and the bond commission were wrestling with Vidalia’s request to borrow money to fund a development called the Square on Carter. The city planned to use surplus hydroelectric power plant royalties to back the bonds.

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The bond commission didn’t like the smell of the deal and put a hold on it. In the process, Kennedy suggested the city’s leaders go back and hold public hearings specifically about the use of the hydro funds.

Clearly, the public was interested as dozens of residents showed up to listen.

Amazingly, after years of no rebate, residents receive a rebate this year and, lo and behold, next year is an election year.

Surprise, surprise.

For now, hopefully residents will enjoy the small rebate — estimated to be approximately $50 to $60 for most residential customers. But we also hope residents don’t forget that it apparently takes outside influence to get the city’s current administration moving on the matter.

And if residents opt to send a Christmas card of thanks this year, please direct it to John Kennedy’s office in Baton Rouge.