MOUNT ZION — Mount Zion Village Board members voted Monday to take additional steps toward exploring the issue of electrical aggregation in their community. The matter will be in voters’ hands this November.

Electrical aggregation, which is being explored by a number of local communities, would allow the village to negotiate with electricity suppliers on behalf of individuals and small businesses in an effort to reduce their power costs.

The board voted unanimously in favor of an ordinance that would place a referendum on the November election ballot for voters to consider an “opt-out” program for electrical aggregation in Mount Zion. If the referendum is approved, those eligible would be enrolled in the program unless they removed themselves from it.

“We had discussed this in great detail, I believe, at our last meeting,” Mayor Don Robinson said before the board briefly discussed the issue at Monday’s meeting.

The board also voted unanimously in favor of a resolution to approve an agreement for consulting services through a Lincoln-based company, The Stone River Group, which will analyze local data, work to educate the community about the process and, should voters approve the referendum in November, help guide leaders on the best way to proceed.

“They have done this process before and were involved with over 50 communities in the spring that went out for bid after the April election,” said Village Administrator Julie Miller.

Miller estimated that, should the community decide to move forward with electrical aggregation, Mount Zion consumers and small businesses could expect between 15-percent and 25-percent savings on their energy charges.

“Most of our businesses are considered small businesses,” Miller said. “Almost every business here in Mount Zion would be eligible for the program.”|421-6968

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