Letter to the Editor (Anchorage Daily News)
Utilities merger a good deal
I came to Anchorage in 1997 to be general manager of Municipal Light and Power, following on the heels of longtime manager Tom Stahr. I had been an electric cooperative leader for 18 years but the municipal system was a little mysterious to me. I had to learn to navigate within the labyrinths of municipal government — and labyrinthine it definitely was! It also became clear that the cooperative governance and operational systems were vastly superior and less expensive to boot.
I have heard “Chugach is paying too much” and “Chugach is paying too little” and that “process has been lacking.” Chugach is paying book value for the system and is also covering the “lost subsidies” to the city for the remaining life of the plant. With attrition in both organizations, the appropriate employee base will be achieved in a few years and Anchorage rate payers will reap tens of millions of dollars annually in operational cost savings. We can achieve true “economic dispatch” in Anchorage immediately as generation will be dispatched under a single system without regard for which engines “must run” due to their loaded capital cost.
I am excited about this merger and will be voting yes on Proposition 10. I hope you will join me — this is one of the most exciting opportunities we have had in years!
— Meera Kohler