The City of Peterborough will be seeking community input on how to invest the estimated proceeds of $50 million to $55 million it will receive from the pending sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc.
The $105-million sale of the city-owned utility to Hydro One is expected to receive final approval from the Ontario Energy Board in the spring of 2020 after a deal was struck in August 2018. The deal came just 20 months after council voted 6-5 in December 2016 to sell the utility to Hydro One.
On Monday night, council agreed to consult with the community to get feedback and ideas on how to invest the proceeds. Options include investing some or all of the funds in municipally owned renewable energy company City of Peterborough Holdings Inc. or establish a legacy fund. Council requested public presentations be made on those options but dates have yet to be scheduled.
“Not one penny should be spent — every penny should be invested so future residents can enjoy the benefits,” said Coun. Andrew Beamer.
Following those presentations, the city will seek community feedback and ideas on how to invest the proceeds via hard copy and in-person engagements. City staff will report to council and are expected to provide recommendations by June 2020.
“This is the start of a public process,” stated Richard Freymond, city treasurer and commissioner of corporate and legislative services.
“The city will be engaging with residents on ways to invest the proceeds from the sale of Peterborough Distribution Inc. in ways that will benefit our community for future generations by protecting or growing the principal amount, which would generate ongoing annual revenue for the community.”
With the two options that are currently being considered, the city says it wouldn’t spend the principal amount from the proceeds of the sale; rather, it would only spend the interest or dividends that are generated from the principal amount. The idea is that the main amount would remain and potentially grow as a revenue-generating investment.
“We are all one big family and we all have the same goal in mind: the best for our city,” said Coun. Lesley Parnell.