KEITH WHITCOMB JR.
READSBORO -- Green Mountain Power plans to have the required improvements to the former Readsboro Electric Light Department completed by the second quarter of 2013, but the Public Service Board, which approved the sale of the smaller utility last year, wishes the docket for the sale to be kept open and to be notified if the delayed system improvements will not be finished by June 30.
The light department was sold by the town to Central Vermont Public Service in 2011 with the deal being approved by the Public Service Board in July. CVPS has since merged with Green Mountain Power and the combined entities own all of what had been the Readsboro utility. The two larger utilities had, in fact, issued competing bids for the Readsboro company, as it would have melded into either service territory.
On Dec. 18, the Public Service Board, which oversees regulations for power generating facilities in the state, issued an order on status reports it has been receiving from CVPS, now GMP. According to the board, on Dec. 30 2011 it received a report from CVPS saying it was on track to complete the necessary improvements it agreed to do by Sept. 2012. In Nov. 7, 2012 GMP filed a report saying most of the improvements are done, but not all, and it expects to have everything complete by the end of June 2013. GMP also requested the docket for the sale be closed, as it would be required to complete the improvements.
According to the service board's order, on Nov. 14 a letter by the Department of Public Service, which advises the board, saying it should leave the docket open as that has been standard practice with similar matters. The department's letter also said it was confident GMP would have the improvements complete by the end of June.
"The Board typically keeps a docket open until all of a final order's requirements have been met. Consistent with this practice, we determine that this Docket will remain open until GMP completes the remaining required system improvements. In addition, we require GMP to inform the board and the parties when the system improvements have been completed," reads the decision.
The order stipulates that GMP notify the board no later than May 1, 2013 if the company does not think its improvements will be finished by June 30, 2013. It said the delay is contrary to the expectations it had after the September 2011 agreement.