Business group opposes Glasgow Electric Plant Board rescinding contract with TVA

GLASGOW, Ky. – Citing concerns about reduced jobs and higher prices, the Barren County Economic Authority and the Glasgow-Barren County Chamber of Commerce issued a joint statement Monday opposing the Glasgow Electric Plant Board’s attempt to rescind its long-term contract with the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The electric plant board sued the TVA last month in U.S. District Court asking the court to rescind and cancel the electric plant board’s 2019 long-term agreement with the TVA and to grant the electric plant board a 90-day cancellation period.

“If cancelled, it will negatively impact economic development and local industry,” reads the joint position statement issued by the economic development authority and the Chamber.

“By cancelling the contract with TVA, Glasgow will lose the top ranked public utility in the US. TVA’s reliability, services and programs make them a vital partner in economic development and provide a strong competitive advantage,” reads the statement. “TVA’s Economic Development team provides lead generation, technical assistance, online research services, training and development, community development programs, and grant funding. All these resources for economic development will be lost if the contract is cancelled, costing thousands of dollars to replace on a per cost basis.

“The litigation – likely to stretch out over months or years – will create even more uncertainty and weaken the City as an attractive location for new job creation,” the statement reads.

Businesses currently receiving TVA incentives will lose those incentives if the board decides to use another power provider.

“All the electric providers that serve our area are quality providers,” said Maureen Carpenter, executive director of the Barren County Economic Authority. “It’s just that the TVA has certain things they can offer and help with economic development, and the fact that the additional cost of that infrastructure will cost to replace them, and they’ve been with TVA so long, it just doesn’t make sense for why they would try to nullify this contract.”

The statement calls on the Glasgow City Council to intervene with the electric plant board to resolve the issues to protect the local economy.

“The Boards of Directors and chamber members are rightly concerned with the actions of the EPB Board of Directors
and the inaction of the City Council to intervene as the oversight authority of the EPB Board of Directors and do what must be done to bring resolution to these issues without frivolous lawsuits that are costly, time consuming, and are without sufficient merit to win,” the position statement reads.

The lawsuit contends that one member of the electric plant board entered into a flexibility agreement with TVA in June which triggered the plant board’s 90-day termination right and that this agreement was entered into without notice to a majority of the board, and the TVA was aware that the member was acting alone.

In November when the electric plant board learned about the June letter, the board through its attorney asked the TVA to reinstate the board’s 90-day evaluation period, according to the federal lawsuit. The TVA rejected that request.