July 8, 2008

Council plans to fight CL&P

The city plans to fight for more than $380,000 it says Connecticut Light & Power owes it for past billing mistakes.
City Councilor Cliff Block said he anticipates a long, hard battle to collect the cash for mistakes in old streetlighting bills, but “the payoff at the end is going to be significant.”
"We feel we've got hard case evidence" to prove it, city Councilor Mike Rimcoski said, and officials intend to fight for every penny.
Councilors unanimously agreed to give officials and Municipal Energy, the consultant helping find the billing errors, another 45 days to search for more mistakes and then to launch a legal fight to get the money.
The utility company has admitted that it made mistakes. It offered the city $86,000 in compensation.
But Municipal Energy tapped into a wealth of public works records to argue that Bristol is actually owed at least $380,000.
The consultant stands to make about $55,000 if the city’s claim holds up, which would leave taxpayers with about an extra $240,000 if the city can win the case that Municipal Energy helped it make.
The city hired the firm a year and a half ago for $10,000 plus 15 percent of whatever the city earns above $86,000 from taking on the utility giant.
Bristol is one of about 50 towns and cities challenging the payouts that CL&P offered and the state Department of Utility Control approved.
Block said that Bristol, which may have the most records to prove its case, is setting the pace in taking on the power company.
He warned, though, that nobody should expect to see any money soon. He said there is “going to be a heck of a fight” with CL&P because the utility stands to lose millions if Bristol can thwart its initial offer, since it would likely open the door for other cities to collect bigger checks, too.
Rimcoski said the city is going to try to enlist Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s support for its quest for cash that officials say Bristol deserves.
"We're holding our ground," Rimcoski said.

Here are a number of reports from Municipal Energy that lay out in detail what's at the root of the controversy. The company's president, Ken Johnson, kindly provided the documents today at my request.

Municipal Energy Report to the Streetlight Committee (April 3, 2008)

Energy's Bristol's Refund Calculation Summary

Municipal Energy New Found Report on March 2, 2008

Municipal Energy New Found Lights (March 7, 2008)

Municipal Energy's New Found spreadsheet

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

Don't count on seeing ANY of it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for putting the documents on the computer. It is intersting.

Anonymous said...

Ironoic that three of the reports are from this year: shows that the last administration was correct in saying that Johnson had not produced any tangible new vidence at the time they were questioning him.

Anonymous said...

I know that Ken sold his share of the company but does he still have any active role in it's operation? Is he going to get a cut of they payout? Inquiry minds wanna know.

Steve Collins said...

Ken Johnson tells me that after he lost the mayoral election "the lawyers reversed the process and I am again the owner" of Municipal Energy.

Anonymous said...

Steve, pretty clever that Mr. Johnson, EH?

Way too sharp for Bristol.

Did you check, could he be a lawyer?

Anonymous said...

only thing not reversed was the work portion - ken johnson did nothing.

Anonymous said...

If it weren't for Johnson, Ward would be in trouble next year.

Anonymous said...

THis goes to show you that Ken Johnson was right all along.

Stortz and company wanted to settle for 60K and it now looks like we'll get 4 times as much.

What Stortz is pissed off about is that Ken didn't play his micro-managing game.

All you liberal Dems who whine on this blog should take a lesson from your ayor. At least he let them do thier job and get Bristol more than the former settleent offer.

Stortz and Nicastro becasue this all started under his tenure, have no clue as to how to run a government.

Thank God both of them are no longer Mayor.

Anonymous said...

There never was a $60,000 offer.

Keep in mind that the offer was rejected under Couture and his council, just like it was under Stortz and his Council.

It was Council action, partially based on legal advice, and partially based on the Ken Johnson snow job.

No body stopped Johnson from doing his job but Ken Johnson himself.

He wanted his cake and to be able to eat it too.

Anonymous said...

If Johnson runs again, will he again reverse the process and turn things over to his Out of State based partner?

Anonymous said...

Are we going to try to do it with our own attorneys?

Anonymous said...

Is this the only contract Johnson has?

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

If Ken Johnson is approaching the CL&P situation the way he approached the petition situation, we don't stand a chance.