By Jessica Tuggle
VERO BEACH - Vero Beach City Council members renewed their exclusivity agreement with Florida Power & Light for the sale of the municipal electric utility.
On Oct. 2, the council voted 4-1, with Councilman Jay Kramer dissenting, to extend the letter of intent with FP&L for another six months, expiring March 31. The extension means sale negotiations will only be held with FP&L during that time period and no other power provider can be considered.
Mr. Kramer said he would like to see the city consider and work toward a partial sale of the electric utility.
Amy Brunjes, FP&L external affairs manager, was in attendance at the Oct. 2 meeting and said FP&L is focusing on a complete sale right now because that is what they were asked to do.
Should the current negotiations be unsuccessful, FP&L could potentially discuss other options or no other options, she said.
Ms. Brunjes said she was pleased current negotiations were moving forward toward a sale and extending the letter of intent was helping that to happen.
State Rep. Debbie Mayfield, R-Vero Beach, said she was very happy to see things moving toward a sale and a better future for taxpayers.
Rep. Mayfield said she has been keeping an eye on the issue and been involved with it since 2007.
Taxpayer money has already been spent in pursuing this sale and she would hate to see anything happen to jeopardize the process, she said.
City manager Jim O'Connor said he believes he will have an agreement to present to the council on Oct. 16, the date of the next meeting.
Currently, he and transactional attorneys are working to extricate the city from its current contract with wholesale provider Orlando Utilities Commission.
The negotiations with Orlando Utilities are moving smoothly because of all the help FP&L has been giving them, Mr. O'Connor said.
For upcoming agenda items or more information about city government meetings, visit www.covb.org.