Osceola Fights Entergy on Big Payments

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Jan. 21, 2013 12:00 am  

If you live anywhere near Osceola (Mississippi County), you might have heard about an ongoing legal feud between the city and Entergy Arkansas Inc.

In December, Osceola filed a suit in Mississippi County Circuit Court seeking about $4 million in damages and some changes to the way Entergy Arkansas was billing the city.

The suit ties into the very long and confusing history of the Entergy system agreement, but suffice it to say that the Osceola government was bristling at some equalizing payments it was required to make because power was cheaper in Arkansas than elsewhere.

It’s not the first time the town has played its legal hand: In 2007, 2008 and 2009, it protested to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission successfully, and Entergy Arkansas settled each time by setting a new rate and giving the town some refunds.

Entergy’s Response

Osceola is now claiming that Entergy hadn’t calculated the new rates correctly. Besides the $4 million in damages and $652,223 in interest, Osceola is also demanding that Entergy impose a different rate than the previous ones set in 2007, 2008 and 2009.

Last week, Entergy Arkansas filed a motion to dismiss the suit.

It claimed that the earlier settlements disqualify Osceola from changing the fixed rates set at that time, and that no court can award damages for a breach of the rates.

“In sum, Osceola’s action is nothing more than a collateral attack on rates approved by FERC pursuant to settlement agreement that preclude any future challenges to those rates,” Entergy’s motion states.

Zachary David Wilson of North Little Rock, Osceola’s lawyer, was not available for comment.



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