PUCO staff amends proposed DP&L rates

Published: Tuesday, March 13, 2018 @ 10:45 AM

DP&L operates Killen Station, a coal and combustion turbine facility in Wrightsville, Ohio in Adams County.
DP&L operates Killen Station, a coal and combustion turbine facility in Wrightsville, Ohio in Adams County.

Staff for the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO) are recommending a revenue increase for Dayton Power & Light of about $23.2 million to $28.1 million a year, while also calling for cuts in plant equipment costs of nearly $102 million.

According to a recommendation filed by PUCO staff on Tuesday, a customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of (kWh) electricity per month would see a bill increase of $4.11. 

But that’s not accurate, a PUCO spokesman said Wednesday. 

Staff corrected the earlier estimate Wednesday, saying the previous filing did not calculate in the staff’s recommended revenue requirement of $23 million to $28 million for DP&L.

 “We can say simply that if PUCO staff recommendations are approved, (monthly) rates would fall by 39 cents for a 1,000 kWh user, compared to the level distribution rates are at today,” said Matt Schilling, a spokesman for the PUCO.

In 2016, the average annual electricity use for a U.S. residential customer was 10,766 kWh, an average of 897 kWh every month, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

Earlier, Schilling also said that DP&L has proposed a fixed customer charge of $13.73 while PUCO staff has recommended just $7.88.

RELATEDAttorneys for DP&L: Utility needs $55M for ‘reasonable rate of return’

A spokeswoman for DP&L on Tuesday said the company is reviewing the recommendation now.

In October 2015, DP&L first applied to PUCO for an increase in distribution rates across its entire 24-county West Central Ohio service area.

RELATEDPUCO: New DP&L plan raises rates.

The utility said its base rate for maintaining distribution equipment such as poles and wires has not changed since 1991.

A PUCO spokesman said hearings on the recommendation will take place this spring, but none had been scheduled as of Tuesday. 

The next steps in the process include opportunities for parties in the case to file objections before the five-member PUCO issues its own order and opinion. And there could be further appeals after that. 

PUCO staff also recommended a reduction in DP&L “plant in service” costs, or costs tied to the “surviving original cost of the plant that is used and useful, or projected to be used and useful.”

Echoing the findings of an audit, PUCO staff recommended a reduction in such costs of $101.6 million. It wasn’t immediately clear Tuesday where that kind of reduction in costs would fall or how it would be implemented.

The filing also excluded the “employee fitness equipment from the MacGregor Park Office (DP&L’s headquarters off Woodman Drive) and various Dayton Power & Light service centers” since these facilities “are not used and useful in the provision of utility service.”

A 2017 audit included in the filing said the company’s MacGregor Park headquarters building is “underutilized,” with about 135 employees. 

Last month, DP&L told the state it intends of lay off about 60 Montgomery County employees. 

In total, staff recommended a reduction in “plant in service” costs of about $101.9 million.

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DP&L distribution settlement may mean rate increase

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 1:47 PM

A shot during a Dayton Power & Light helicopter inspection in August 2016 of area power lines. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF
A shot during a Dayton Power & Light helicopter inspection in August 2016 of area power lines. THOMAS GNAU/STAFF

If a new settlement on Dayton Power and Light’s distribution charges is approved by state regulators, bills for consumers who use 1,000 kilowatt-hours of power a month will go up $2.64.

DP&L said it has filed a stipulation in its distribution rate case with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio (PUCO), which was signed by 15 parties and PUCO staff.

If the stipulation is approved by the PUCO, the average residential customer in DP&L’s service area, using 1,000 kWh on DP&L’s “standard service” offer, can expect a monthly bill increase of $2.64.


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The utility says the stipulation balances “the interests of residential, commercial, and industrial customers.

“The stipulation allows DP&L the opportunity to meet the needs of its customers and support the company’s investments to maintain reliability and customer service,” the company said in a statement Tuesday.

MOREIs Arcade development a certainty? 5 things to know

DP&L said the stipulation also resolves issues tied to last year’s federal corporate tax cut. Some observers, including the PUCO, said Ohio utilities should cut rates commensurate with those lowered taxes.

“The resolution includes an agreement to return the tax savings associated with the act,” DP&L said in its statement. The utility said the agreement also includes a “commitment to return to its customers no less than $4 million per year for five years.”

A spokeswoman for the Office of Ohio Consumers’ Counsel said her office agreed to the stipulation.

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DP&L says it maintains the lowest residential rates of the investor-owned utilities in Ohio.

“This proposed settlement represents a compromise among the parties, while allowing DP&L to provide ongoing, essential system maintenance to the poles, wires, transformers, substations and other infrastructure that safely deliver electricity to our customers,” DP&L President and Chief Executive Craig Jackson said in the utility’s release.

“We take pride in serving our customers and if approved by the (PUCO), this settlement is critical to ensuring our customers continue to have the safe, reliable service they have known and come to expect,” Jackson added.

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5 things to know about the momentum behind the Dayton Arcade project

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 9:25 AM

An artist’s rendering of what the rotunda inside the Dayton Arcade will look like when renovated. CONTRIBUTED
An artist’s rendering of what the rotunda inside the Dayton Arcade will look like when renovated. CONTRIBUTED

It’s looking increasingly like a serious renewal of the historic Dayton Arcade is all but a sure bet. 

Developers are pushing the project forward. And the site is getting private and public support.

PHOTOS: A look back at the Dayton Arcade

It’s a complicated, multi-piece effort for a complicated, multi-piece site — and there are no guarantees.

But here’s what to know about the Arcade project right now.

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1. It’s big. 

The Arcade itself is some nine buildings, with some structures stretching back more than 100 years. But it has been in a state of disuse for nearly 30 years.

Dayton Arcade Partners LLC and its affiliated partners look to acquire some four acres of real estate and some 400,000 square feet of building space, according to Dayton-Montgomery County Port Authority documents.

PHOTOS: Must-see transformations done by new partners of the Dayton Arcade

2. It’s a team effort. 

Late last month, the city of Dayton agreed to loan $10 million to an Arcade development team led by Baltimore-based Cross Street Partners.

And on Monday, the Port Authority’s Board of Trustees agreed to enter into capital lease agreements with four limited liability companies that own the Arcade’s component parcels. Jerry Brunswick, executive director of the Port Authority, said those agreements will save an estimated $1 million in sales taxes on materials used to improve and build up the Arcade.

MOREPort Authority pacts to save Arcade effort about $1 million. 

3. Dayton’s Miller-Valentine Group still has a role in the project.

Dayton-based Miller Valentine Group is still engaged with leasing and funding support of the Arcade project, said Dave Dickerson, the company’s Dayton market president.

The company did step away from the housing piece of the effort, this news outlet reported in March. 

Two urban redevelopment firms — Cincinnati-based Model Group and St. Louis-based McCormack Baron Salazar — signed on as partners in the Arcade work after Miller-Valentine’s withdrawal.

MOREThe Arcade will DEFINITELY reopen 

4. The Arcade vision has multiple elements.

There will be residential apartments and commercial elements. At different points, the University of Dayton, The Entrepreneurs Center and Sinclair Community College — as well as brewer Warped Wing, Boston Stoker coffee shop and the Dayton Visual Arts Center — have all been identified as possible tenants or have expressed interest in having a place at the new Arcade.

The Arcade itself could be home to 150 businesses — most of them quite small — and hundreds of workers, according to some estimates.

5. There’s now a timeline attached to the project.

Matters are moving quickly now.

The city of Dayton did agree to the aforementioned $10 million loan to the project. But that agreement requires that the developer begin construction on the commercial components of the southern section of the Arcade by the end of this year — and finish by March 31, 2020.

However, Cross Street says the goal is to finish those parts by November of 2019.

We’ll see what happens next.

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Massive Toys ‘R’ Us giraffe mascot given away through liquidation sale

Published: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 @ 7:00 AM

Toys ‘R’ Us May Close All U.S. Stores

Toys “R” Us mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe has a new home.

The toy store chain is undergoing the process of liquidating all of its stores after filing for bankruptcy earlier this year. The retailer sold off its 16-ft., 550-pound fiberglass statue of the giraffe mascot to a children’s hospital. Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey acquired the statue through the retailer’s liquidation advisor Malfitano Partners, according to Bloomberg.

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Malfitano Partners anted to find children’s hospital to take it, but it was becoming difficult due to the expense it would take to remove and transport the massive giraffe statue.

Joseph Malfitano agreed tod onate $10,000 to remove, pack and ship the giraffe to New Brunswick. He is also paying Toys “R” Us an undisclosed sum, according to Bloomberg.


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Port Authority to boost Arcade improvements, save project $1M

Published: Monday, June 18, 2018 @ 2:50 PM

The Dayton Arcade rotunda, perhaps the most recognizable part of the Arcade. FILE
The Dayton Arcade rotunda, perhaps the most recognizable part of the Arcade. FILE

On Monday, the Dayton Montgomery Port Authority Board of Trustees voted to have the Port support the downtown Dayton Arcade development project, agreeing to enter into four ground leases for four component parcels of the Arcade.

The Port will enter into capital lease agreements with four limited liability companies that own the Arcade’s component parcels, said Jerry Brunswick, executive director of the Port Authority.

The support will help save an estimated $1 million in sales taxes on materials used to improve Arcade, Brunswick said.

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“That’s valuable,” he said.

The trustees voted unanimously to participate in redevelopment of the historic downtown Arcade after a closed executive session lasting more than an hour. The vote took place without public discussion.

Consisting of nine buildings covering more than 330,000 square feet — including structures that go back nearly 120 years — the newly re-developed Arcade is expected to have commercial, retail, educational and residential elements. Key possible tenants such as the University of Dayton and Dayton brewer Warped Wing have expressed interest in a place at the Arcade, as have Boston Stoker and the Dayton Visual Arts Center.

PHOTOSTour the Conagra Brands plant in Troy 

Just last month, the city of Dayton agreed to loan $10 million to the Cross Street Partners-led development partnership that said it now has secured nearly all of the financing it needs for a $95 million rehab of the southern portions of the Arcade.

When the Port Authority owns land, it can offer construction companies and developers several tools to boost construction projects, including a shield from expensive sales taxes on construction materials.

“Our ownership facilitates sales tax exemptions for these properties,” Brunswick said. “That will save them, the project operators, somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 million.

“You can see that as part of the overall source of financing for the project,” he added.

He noted that the resolution trustees approved holds that the Port Authority’s participation is contingent on all the participating entities “coming together.”

“Our board’s approval of this means we’re one step closer — and it’s a significant step closer,” Brunswick said.

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