Illinois Community Asks AG to Audit Prairie State's Contracts

Nov 7, 2014

Credit Viktor Gmyria 123RF Stock Photo

An Illinois community is asking the state’s Attorney General to investigate its contract with Prairie State Energy Campus as it battles skyrocketing electricity prices.

Batavia, Ill is battling power pricing issues similar to Paducah Power Customers due to their ownership stakes in the under-performing coal power plant. 

Batavia citizens are also involved in a class action lawsuit against numerous parties connected to the plant. 

Chicago Attorney Tom Loucks says the Batavia city council sent a letter to Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan yesterday asking her to intervene with an audit.

“It requests the Illinois Attorney General to conduct an investigation into whether the city of Batavia was given full and accurate information prior to the time it entered into the agreement and whether any affirmative material representation or material admissions were made in the presentation of information in respect to this Prairie State project," said Loucks. 

But Loucks says the city is still trying to figure out how to relieve the high electricity rates while the case carries on. 

"There's been a few things going down to relieve them," said Loucks. "There's some rate adjustments; the power agency that provides electricity to Batavia hasn't been forwarding on all the costs to Batavia ratepayers instead they've been creating an account to offset that but it's still due an owing. There's been use of some subsidies that the state granted for other things like infrastructure. But there's also been some increase in the sales tax in the city with funds going towards that."

In Paducah, attorney Mark Bryant is making several open records requests on the city municipal utility’s dealings with Prairie State which could result in a similar legal course.

Calls to Bryant’s office for comment were not immediately returned Friday.