‘We’ve been heard’: Florida lawmakers are considering turning their attention to municipal utilities

Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 10:00 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - On Tuesday, Florida House members raised the possibility of giving state regulators more oversight of municipal utilities. Those include Gainesville Regional Utilities and Ocala Electric Utility.

State Sen. Keith Perry said high prices are a concern for those who are customers of municipal utilities but live outside of city boundaries.

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“I would like to see that the PSC would give people outside of the city of Gainesville an opportunity to decide whether they wanted to continue to have GRU as their provider or they wanted to have an option,” shared Sen. Keith Perry.

Angela Casteel, has become the voice for those who are struggling to pay their GRU bills. “I’m excited,” shared Casteel. “I feel like we’ve been heard and we can continue to be heard.” She said the possibility of having state lawmakers’ oversight is a step in the right direction.

“The problems that I’m seeing now, are people are getting two and three bills all in one bill,” share Casteel. “They failed to read meters. Also, the system got locked and they were unable to send out those bills.”

However, the newly elected commissioner, Bryan Eastman, prefers to keep oversight out of operations.

“Back in 2018, they tried this once before,” shared Eastman. “We rejected it as a local community I’m sure we would reject this as well. It’s important that we have local voices that are overseeing our utilities. That’s something that we’re proud of and something that we want to continue forward with.”

Lawmakers did not give details about the proposals.

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