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Jax Daily Record Wednesday, Dec. 13, 201706:40 AM EST

JEA beginning study on privatization of utility

Board expects a report for review in 60 days.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

JEA is moving forward with its plan to evaluate whether to transition the public utility to private ownership.

At the first board meeting since outgoing board member Tom Petway offered the proposal, board Chair Alan Howard said Tuesday he doesn’t want the question to become a “distraction for the organization,” but reviving the question that has come up several times in the past is a valid exercise.

“The energy market has changed dramatically (since the proposal was made several years ago),” he said.

Last week, Howard directed JEA CEO Paul McElroy to identify and engage a study of JEA’s assets and the potential impact of privatization.

McElroy said his staff will develop a plan to provide an update that he expects to be ready for the board’s review in about 60 days.

Until the board has the opportunity to review the report, “it’s business as usual at JEA,” Howard said.

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