State Sen. Jack Latvala on Tuesday said he is considering calling for legislative action next session to address the City of Tallahassee’s response to Hurricane Hermine.
Latvala, a Clearwater Republican, is slated to be the next chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Specifically, he said he questions whether community-based power operations — such as City of Tallahassee Utilities — are positioned as well as they could be to recover after major storms.
Hermine, a Category 1 hurricane at landfall, knocked out electric service Thursday night to hundreds of thousands across north Florida, including nearly 68,000 in Tallahassee alone.
As of Tuesday morning, local officials said 14,000-16,000 remain without power.
“In fact, there are several issues that have come to my attention with regard to municipal power agencies,” Latvala said in a text, without elaborating. “Their members’ ability to repair their utilities after a storm is only one part of it.”
Barry Moline, executive director of the Florida Municipal Electric Association, could not be immediately reached for comment. A message was left for city spokeswoman Alison Faris.
He added: “The citizens in Vero Beach have voted twice to get out of the electric business as a city but have been stymied by a contract that appears to have no end.”
Vero Beach, which also runs a municipal utility, has flirted in recent years with selling its electric system to Florida Power & Light, an investor-owned utility.