Popular energy credit from city funded
Council approves payments along with Egan St. beautification
The Valdez City Council unanimously approved funding to continue its popular energy credit program which pays $550 yearly towards energy bills for Valdez households.
The move came Monday night during its regular meeting when the council was asked to allocate $2,219,897, which is the 1.5 percent contribution for 2014 from the city’s permanent fund.
Council allocated $369,897 towards the program, which was originally implemented as a de facto property tax rebate for residential homes. The program pays $550 towards fuel, electricity or a fifty-fifty split directly to household accounts.
The balance of the funds, $1,850,000, were allocated to the upcoming Egan Dr. beautification project.
City manager John Hozey said project specifics will be presented to council at its next meeting, scheduled for August 4.
The energy assistance program for 2015 was not included in the city’s regular budget or during the mid-year budget adjustment earlier this month.
Some council members have questioned the program’s long-term viability.
In 2006, Valdez voters approved a ballot measure the allows council to transfer 1.5 percent of the city’s permanent fund market value.
In the past, household account holders could begin signing up for the program in November.
There are no income requirements, it is open to all Valdez households with fuel or electricity accounts within the city limits. Other requirements are fairly simple and details are well publicized when it opens to registration.
The program is not open to business accounts.