AEP & Hancock-Wood Argue Over Service Territory Rights

7/12/17 – 5:17 A.M.

More than 100 people attended a Tuesday meeting about who should provide electricity to industries on Findlay’s north side. The Courier reports representatives for the Hancock-Wood Electric Cooperative and AEP made their cases at a city council appropriation committee meeting. Hancock-Wood CEO George Walton argued that for 30 years the two companies have agreed to exchange service territories through “swaps.” He said Hancock-Wood refused an offer AEP made to swap a territory in North Baltimore for the Campbell Soup warehouse site. Walton said at that point AEP took the Campbell site away. Tim Wells is the manager of economic and business development for AEP. He said that once Findlay annexes the industrial sites the city-wide franchise agreement gives AEP the right to provide service.

Walton countered by saying that the Findlay-Hancock County Alliance’s Economic Development Office is helping AEP “cherry-pick” large industrial customers from the cooperative’s service territory. Wells said companies like Rowmark and Campbell Soup prefer working with AEP. Members of the Alliance were not at the Tuesday meeting.

Walton wants Findlay Council to pass legislation that would protect the cooperative’s service territory.

The Findlay City Council appropriations committee heard the arguments Tuesday. Council did not pass legislation protecting Hancock-Wood’s service territory at its July 5 meeting. They will reintroduce the matter for a first reading for council’s July 18 meeting.

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