BARTON VILLAGE - The village trustees have followed through on their promise to contract with a company to oversee the operations of the Barton Electric Department (BED). On May 10, BED ratepayers, who lived within the village boundaries voted against a proposed sale of the financially troubled municipal utility.
On June 13 the trustees endorsed a contract with Energy and Environmental Solutions, LLC out of Randolph, VT. The company is charged with identifying issues with BED and prioritizing short, medium, and long term solutions.
The consultants will commit 20-30 hours per week to managing the utility over the next year.
BED has 400 customers who reside in Barton Village. Overall the company services 2,200 metered customers. BED extends into Brownington, Charleston, Westmore, Sutton, Irasburg and the town of Barton excluding Orleans Village.
The utility is carrying over $5,769,000 in debt and accrued interest. The trustees had proposed to sell the utility and debt to the Vermont Electric Cooperative, but the sale was voted down. Some voters expressed interest in the Orleans Electric Department acquiring the utility. By law a proposed sale of BED must wait 18 months from May 10 before ratepayers can sell the utility.