Peterborough council to get update regarding PDI sale to Hydro One

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Peterborough council to get update on the state of the PDI sale to Hydro One – Jan 18, 2019

City council will hold a closed-door meeting prior to Monday’s council session to discuss the status of the agreed sale between Peterborough Distribution Inc., to Hydro One.

Ashburnham ward councillor Keith Riel has never shied away from making it clear where he stands when it comes to the sale of the city-owned electrical distribution arm of the Peterborough Utilities to Hydro one.

READ MORE: PDI sold to Hydro One for $105 million

Riel has been against the sale from day one when the electrical supply corporations began negotiating a deal to sell back in 2016. In July, a sale agreement was finally reached.

Then in December, at council’s first meeting after council was sworn in, Riel made a motion, requesting staff report back and update council on the state of the sale.

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“I asked for a report and for our lawyer to come and explain all the ramifications to us if we were to exit the sale with Hydro One,” said Riel.

According to city CAO Sandra Clancy’s report coming to council on Monday, it suggests significant investments have been made in securing the final sale and agreement with Hydro One.

Clancy says the city has spent $1.4 million so far on negotiations while PDI and the Peterborough Utilities board have accrued more than $2 million in expenses.

The sale and application by Hydro One to acquire PDI is now before the Ontario Energy Board, which has final say on the sale.

READ MORE: Washington State regulator denies bid to reconsider Hydro One-Avista deal

Clancy says all three sides, including city staff, the utilities board and Hydro One are working together to make sure the sale is approved and believes that final stamp of approval could come by fall of 2019.

“We were specifically asked to explain some of the arbitration mechanisms that are within the agreement, which basically outlines certain conditions that Hydro One has to make, or the city or PDI and what happens if one or any party doesn’t do exactly what is spelled out in the agreements,” said Clancy.

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Peterborough Mayor Diane Therrien who has been against the sale is now suggesting the city, PDI and Hydro One may be too far down the road to renege on the deal now.

READ MORE: The pending sale of PDI to Ontario Hydro is becoming an election issue in Peterborough

“We get questions from the community about it (the sale of PDI to Hydro One) and we know now that it’s at the Ontario Energy Board and there’s been a notice of hearing and there’s people who have been applying to be interveners and to participate in that process,” said Therrien.  “And so some of that is out of our hands right now and with the Ontario Energy Board.”

The deal is worth $105 million and the city suggests once PDI’s debt is paid off, it’s expected the sale will net the city $55 million which could be invested.

Council will meet for a closed-door session to discuss the sale Monday night prior to its council meeting but expect further talks of sale during the public meeting.

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