Bottled water for residents
Nonetheless, the utility has sharply ramped up its acquisition pace considering that 2009, when it started purchasing bottled water for residents since of heightened concerns about molybdenum.
After acquiring two properties in 2009, We Energies Login bought two residences in 2011, nine properties in 2012 and six additional final year, based on Racine County records. As a situation of the sales, sellers signed confidentiality agreements, the enterprise mentioned.
On Feb. 28, We Energies created its biggest acquisition when it paid $1.2 million for any farmhouse, a barn as well as other outbuildings on 118 acres along Botting Road, in accordance with the Racine County Register of Deeds. Because 2012, the utility has spent $4.four million on 16 properties.
The utility has operated a power plant around the site in Oak Creek for decades, and on its present footprint, roughly 1,000 acres, because the early 1990s. The power firm opened its newest coal-fired generator around the site in 2011.
Schulze stated the organization makes presents solely to these who very first expressed an interest in promoting the home, and also the utility didn't use its personal broker. But quite a few home owners said they have been initially approached by a broker who they mentioned they later learned was representing the utility.
The Citizens' Utility Board, a utility watchdog group, plans to raise queries concerning the acquisitions when it analyzes We Energies' subsequent rate-setting case this year, stated Kira Loehr, acting executive director from the group.
"Electric buyers are only supposed to pay for what exactly is utilized and required to help keep the lights on," she said, adding that razing properties and acquiring land seems far afield from that.
We Energies Login says the $5.2 million spent to purchase the residences will not be recovered from utility prospects. The most the utility can gather from customers is for financing fees of 10%, or roughly $520,000 in this case, the enterprise stated.
Some residents nevertheless living within a number of blocks in the plant's house boundaries question no matter if the business is obtaining the properties to address molybdenum issues. They also wonder no matter if the utility has expansion plans, or is eyeing the land for commercial development.
"Right now we do not have plans specifically for any in the additional land which has been bought," stated Schulze.
Jim Janikowski, who lives much less than a half mile away from newly vacant properties, says the corporation could possibly make use of the land to dump coal ash - a byproduct from the coal burning method. But he thinks molybdenum may be the probably explanation.
DNR records show that water tests at Janikowski's home showed molybdenum levels practically exceeding the state groundwater good quality enforcement standard of 40 parts per billion.
"I consider they may be attempting to shut people up," mentioned Janikowski, who has not had an present in the firm, but would "sell in a heartbeat."