Henderson City Commission holds off voting on Big Rivers’ proposal after miscalculation in study

The proposal is to buy Henderson Municipal Power and Light
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 3:09 PM CDT
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HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) - A decision was halted just a couple hours before an expected vote.

Henderson city commissioners called off that discussion over possibly flawed data.

A private company was hired by the city to review a purchase offer from Big Rivers Electric Corporation’s third quest to buy Henderson Municipal Power and Light.

14 News called Mayor Steve Austin around 2:00 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

At that point, commissioners were still planning to consider the offer.

Minutes before the 3:00 p.m. meeting, a change of plans was communicated.

“I know that it’s more important to get it right than it is to get it fast,” Mayor Steve Austin said.

The city hired a private company, named “PFM”, to review this deal. Those findings were presented to commissioners last week. The recent study showed the sale could mean a $1.5 million benefit to the city but could come with a negative impact on customers.

[READ: Henderson Utility Board unanimously votes on Big Rivers Electric Corporation’s proposal]

The mayor says Big Rivers brought a calculation of concern forward. The city then asked the third-party representative for clarification. The mayor says the mistake is being corrected.

“It had to do with a variable that was used to project the future in cash-flow maybe for the utility,” Mayor Austin explained.

The numbers have not been revised yet, but are expected to be brought back to the commission within a week or less.

HMP&L’s commission had already voted not to support the offer.

This decision came to the city commissioners as a recommendation.

“We’re very determined to do the very best we can on this question and make sure we know this information exactly as it should be,” Mayor Austin added.

At this point, both the utility and city commissions will go back to the table and reconsider the offer once the new information is corrected.

“Because it’s very important for this community; it’s a critical vote,” Mayor Austin stated.

It is not clear when the topic will be back on the agenda.

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