Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Town’s consultants have been earning their keep


The Town of Berlin sent out a press release recently about their new power agreement. One of the throwaway lines was the consultant company, Booth and Associates, Inc. was engaged in 2008.
That was nearly four years ago and it is hard to recall the outright vitriol with which the contract was received when it was originally announced. In the wake of the collapse of the Electric Company sale, the Town had a bit of a credibility gap and the suggestion that Booth be taken on was then seen as another folly and wasted expense.
What the consultants said at the time was that the electric plant was not beyond redemption and that it would be relatively inexpensive to fix, though it might take awhile before anyone noticed changes in their pocketbooks.
Today, with the exception of the occasional grumble, rates have eased on residential ratepayers as bills have started going down. More importantly, the rates also started being more predictable as the consultants, working with the electric company staff,  have gotten a better and more predictive handle on electric rate fluctuations.
If the pattern continues, this summer businesses will begin to reap the benefits that the residential ratepayers are now able to take for granted, making Berlin that much more attractive to potential businesses. For all of the conspiracies that tainted the first few years the consultants were on board, it looks as if we can now say they’ve been doing a good job.

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