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Mansfield Light Commissioners Roundup: April 17
The following is a summery of topics discussed at the April 17 meeting.

By Jeff Sullivan
April 17, 2012

Gary Babin, director of the Mansfield Municipal Electric Department, gave detailed reports on various issues the light department is currently facing.

Babin said that construction on the East Mansfield electric substation is progressing. The only thing holding it up is a route problem for the transformers, which he said are currently in West Virginia and are estimated to be in the town in the next week.

The commissioners voted 4-0 to sponsor article 41 on the town meeting agenda. The article would put underground expansions on electrical lines in the area.

The commissioners voted 4-0 to give authority to town manager William Ross to approve an easement on Spring Street near the Spring Street Station.

Meyhew Seavey from PLM Electric Power Engineering discussed the benefits of having a five-year plan for rate stabilization, which would allow the rate of electricity to Mansfield residents to become more flexible, Seavey said, in terms of gaining income and in terms of keeping prices consistent for rate payers.

Babin also discussed a new bill that is now gaining ground in the Massachusetts legislature that would allow towns to buy electrical power and distribution stations from previous owners (NStar, National Grid etc.) and set up a municipal power structure like in Mansfield. He warned that the legislation would be harmful to existing municipal power departments, like Mansfield, because of mandatory charges.

Babin also gave a financial report that showed little change in Mansfield's power demand, save for a decrease because of the mild winter and closure of the Chocolate Factory.