TallahasseeVoices: Citizens Speak Out On Tallahassee Energy Supply

By: Eyewitness News; TallahasseeVoices Email
By: Eyewitness News; TallahasseeVoices Email

Tallahassee, Florida - April 13, 2011 -

Complete survey is attached in Power Point format above.

It appears that City Hall is finally asking citizens how they feel about the budget. After much prodding from TallahasseeVoices, City leaders have disseminated an internet survey that enables citizens to register their priorities regarding services affected by the budget.

This is a first good step in incorporating citizens’ input into the budgeting process. A second critical step is to establish trade-offs with real dollar figures. That is what TallahasseeVoices has done in this survey as it relates to our local energy supply. Stay tuned for more surveys that give citizens trade-offs between service levels and taxes/fees.

56% of local citizens prefer that the City Utilities diversify its fuel supply portfolio to include coal so citizens can pay less in City taxes and fees.

26% of citizens are willing to pay extra fees and taxes so City Utilities can maintain a fuel supply that is 100% natural gas.

TallahasseeVoices panelists were shown the following graph depicting the City of Tallahassee’s budget from 1990 to 2011. The trend line was statistically determined based on 1990 to 2000 City budget figures. The trend line shows how the budget would have increased from 2000 to 2011 IF the City budget had continued to increase at the rate it increased from 1990 to 2000.

Based on this trend line, the City operating budget should be about $535 million in 2011 – instead it is $714 million. The difference between the City budget today and what it would have been IF increases in the 2000s had not exceeded increases in the 1990s amounts to $900/year in additional taxes/fees for every man, woman and child in Tallahassee.

The City maintains that the rapid budget increases in the 2000s (specifically between 2003 and 2007) were a result of increases in natural gas prices. The City relies exclusively on natural gas because it is environmentally cleaner than coal. In fact, according to Barry Moline, Executive Director of the Florida Municipal Electric Association, Tallahassee is the only public utility east of the Rockies to rely totally on natural gas. In other words, local residents are paying $900 per year per person to not have any coal as part of the total energy supply.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by tom Location: madison on Apr 13, 2011 at 04:37 PM
    COAL....NO! BIO MASS....NO! NUCLEAR......NO. DRILL FOR OIL......NO. WAAAAAAAAA my electric bill is too high.
  • by JHT1 Location: Tallahassee on Apr 13, 2011 at 01:58 PM
    We should have built the FSU Biomass plant. Elected officials like Proctor have kept us from moving ahead. People want cheap power but don't want to generate it here in town.
  • by L Location: Tallahassee on Apr 13, 2011 at 09:21 AM
    I live in the city and have never recived a survey, it should include all city residents before provide a tally!!!!!!!
  • by Utilities Location: Tallahassee on Apr 13, 2011 at 08:38 AM
    Perhaps the City of Tallahassee should go down to Gainesville and see how to run an efficient utility operation. Maybe the jokes about FSU graduates are really true. BTW, how do you get an FSU grad off your porch,...pay for the pizza!
  • by shaykoel Location: Tally on Apr 13, 2011 at 08:14 AM
    Rufus, you hit the nail right on the head. the smart meter is a new way to rip off the citizens of Tallahassee.
  • by Former resident on Apr 13, 2011 at 08:09 AM
    I couldn't believe the amount my bill went down after moving from Tallahassee. My bill in the summer used to be $150-180 a month for a two bedroom apartment. I now average about 75-100 dollars in the summer for a three bedroom house. It is just ridiculous the rates the city charges.
  • by Rufus Location: Tally on Apr 13, 2011 at 06:54 AM
    This is just horrible. The City of Tallahassee is raping its citizens. I am tired of my huge electric bill, doubious "Smart Meter" technology, and the City's insistence that utilities service is not a huge cash cow for them. The City is out of control and needs a knot jerked in their ***! Lower our taxes you punks.
  • by Natty Bumpo Location: Tally on Apr 13, 2011 at 06:52 AM
    If it would get my utility rates to a reasonable level I would be OK with city powering the utilities with kittens and puppies.
    • reply
      by CaptainDisbelief on Apr 13, 2011 at 07:41 AM in reply to Natty Bumpo
      But what will I eat for breakfast if all the kittens and puppies are used for fuel?
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Apr 13, 2011 at 08:38 AM in reply to CaptainDisbelief
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