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Update: Council Approves Rebates To REU Customers

After wrangling about which fund relief will come from the Redding City Council decided Thursday night to give each electric utility ratepayer a refund to help with Coronavirus relief. With two council members chiming in by telephone, and the remaining three keeping social distance from each other, the council decided to take about $2.2 Million Dollars from a Cap and Trade Fund. The idea actually began about a month ago, well before COVID-19 began to hit the Northstate. Councilman Michael Daquisto and Mayor Adam Macelvain wanted to take part of a $2 Million surplus that the Redding Electric Utility had amassed and return it to ratepayers. But then the Coronavirus and it’s related economic impact hit and council members became apprehensive about raiding that fund. City Manager Barry Tippin offered an alternative, saying that taking money from the reserve could potentially put the utility into a bad spot, and violate council policy that the reserve must keep 150 days of cash. The council voted unanimously to take the money instead from Cap and Trade funds and each ratepayer will receive a $46 check. Tippin, also acting under the emergency powers the council granted him at the last meeting, gave an update on the city’s response to the Coronavirus. He told the council the city is taking several steps to help alleviate the situation including, at the request of Shasta County, a resolution to prohibit evictions, provide transient occupancy tax relief, return REU deposits and more help for low income ratepayers. The REU will not charge late fees or interest for late payments. He also said that a field hospital is going to be coming soon to help with the large number of expected patients, and options are being explored to use empty hotel rooms if needed.