City of Prescott takes electric provider SWEPCO to court
By Rick Kennedy, managing editor
A long festering issue for the city of Prescott and its residents has come to a head as it was revealed Tuesday that the City of Prescott filed a lawsuit against regional energy provider Southwest Electric Power Co. (SWEPCO) on April 5 in federal court.
The lawsuit document lists familiar names as the plaintiffs, including the City of Prescott (DBA Prescott Water and Light Co.), Prescott School District , local resident Tommy Poole, the Bank of Delight, and leading private employer, Firestone Building Products Co.
The plaintiffs are represented by the Barber Law Firm of Little Rock and the McKenzie, Vasser and Barber firm of Prescott. Tuesday afternoon, Glenn Vasser, who has served as Prescott’s city attorney for several years, declined to make a comment on the litigation. Prescott Mayor Terry Oliver was traveling out of town Tuesday. Regional officials with SWEPCO also had no public statement on Tuesday.
Poole himself, a former City of Prescott councilman, once said in a 2017 public meeting “When people in the community come up to me and ask why their bills are so high or whats being done, and I’ve got no idea what to tell them, that’s a problem.”
The City of Prescott, similar to Hope’s Hope Water & Light (HWL), maintains and owns its electric lines, but it has maintained a wholesale power purchase agreement with SWEPCO over the years.
Prescott and SWEPCO’s contract also involves another entity, the Southwest Power Pool (SPP), which oversees the bulk electric grid and wholesale power market in the central United States on behalf of utilities and transmission companies in 14 states.
Editor’s Note — This is a developing story with expected updates to be added as made available to SWARK Today.