by Mickey Smith
MORRISVILLE – The Village of Morrisville has sent out a request for proposals (RFP) to consulting organizations to help develop a business plan for the Morrisville Water & Light Department (MWL).
MWL Director Craig Myotte said the request is similar to an action taken by the Stowe Electric Department a couple of years ago. He said the options listed are quite wide, from outsourcing certain tasks like billing or payroll, all the way to merging with a larger power company. The main expectation from this undertaking is to see if there are any ways that money could be saved within the company. He said they are not going into this planning to sell MWL, but he said they “can’t ignore that, that might be a possibility” depending on the outcome of the study.
Most importantly, he said, they want to figure out if there are any practices that could be changed to ensure the customers are better off. He said the most important things they can offer their customers are low rates, reliable service and good customer service. The business plan would look at ways to make sure those needs are met.
Myotte said the trustees are constantly looking for ways to trim costs and are interested in seeing if things like hiring a payroll service might save money or if contracting with another power company for billing services could save new hires. Myotte said a company like Green Mountain Power has a lot larger list of customers to which to send bills. He said they could probably absorb the comparably low number of Morrisville customers without much extra cost, so the charge to do the billing might be less than the cost of an in-house employee to do that billing. Myotte this is the kind of information the trustees will look for in such a report.
“We’re a non-profit organization, so any savings we see will eventually go back to the ratepayers,”said Myotte.
Proposals are required to be submitted by Friday, February 15. Myotte said part of the request is the question of how long the process will take. He said they hope to have the answers they are seeking during this year.