Crowd at Red Bud council meeting wanting answers on high utility bills

Quite a crowd of people were at Tuesday night’s Red Bud City Council meeting to demand answers as to why their recent utility bills have been so high.

Mayor Tim Lowry noted that they had expected residents to be in attendance at the meeting to discuss the bills, so he wanted to start off the conversation with a brief overview of how the city operates as well as the city’s various proprietary funds. 

He then introduced Kevin Gaden and Mike Genin of the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency (IMEA). Gaden serves as the IMEA president and CEO, and Genin is the IEMA vice president of member and energy services.

Gaden started with a background of IEMA, noting that they have been around since 1984 and are a non-profit co-op of cities to deal with utilities. They do this by negotiating on behalf of the cities and also work 24/7 to help keep power up and to restore services. IEMA has 32 member cities, including Red Bud which has been with them since 2011 (with the contact approved in 2009).

For more from the City Council meeting, please see this week’s print edition.