will be widened. Work is expected to be finished by 2012.
Novato to reconsider joining MEA The Novato City Council is getting a bit more energized about Marin Clean Energy; at the July 12 council meeting city officials voted to put up to $10,000 toward studying the pros and cons of joining the Marin Energy Authority joint powers authority during its four-month window for new members to join without having pay the $20,000 to $40,000 membership fee. Only four of Marinâ€™s 11 municipalities, plus the county, declined to join the authority as it was getting off the ground in 2009â€”Ross, Novato, Larkspur and Corte Maderaâ€”expressing fears of the financial viability of the home-grown power-brokering venture. But as Marin Clean Energy has cleared financial hurdlesâ€”and in spring even announced a decrease in user ratesâ€”the risks associated with joining the stateâ€™s first community choice aggregation may not seem so, well... risky. At least that seems to be the case for Novato councilmembers Denise Athas, Carole Dillon-Knutson and Mayor Madeline Kellner, who voted to proceed with the $10,000 worth of research;
councilmembers Pat Eklund and Jeanne MacLeamy voted against the move. The motion included an agreement to vote on whether to join the MEA following the study period. Novatoâ€™s renewed interest in the energy authority is of special interest to proponents of community choice, as the city was harshly criticized in some quarters as being receptive to sweetened deals from PG&E if it declined to join the MEA in 2009. When Novato was considering whether to join, PG&E representatives said that if the city rejected Marin Clean Energy, the utility would provide Novato with energy-efficiency funds at its fair share â€œor more.â€? PG&E spokesman Andrew Souvall said at the time the utilityâ€™s offer to Novato was no different from anywhere else within its service territory and the company dangled no special offers to entice the city to reject Marin Clean Energy. Still, a tape-recorded meeting of PG&E offering Novato its share of energy-efficiency funds â€œand moreâ€? cast the city in a particularly dubious light, especially after its eventual vote to reject the MEA.
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Published on Jul 21, 2011