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SSJID to provide PG&E relocation expenses
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The South San Joaquin Irrigation District will offer relocation assistance to PG&E if and when it successfully completes taking over the retail electrical distribution system in Manteca, Ripon, and Escalon.

The SSJID board — in order to comply with state law — will adopt a relocation assistance policy as it continues working on legal issues surrounding the acquisition of PG&E’s retail electric distribution service. The board will consider the policy when they meet Tuesday at 9 a.m. at the district office, 11001 East Highway 120.

PG&E, of the policy is adopted, would be eligible for relocation assistance for their business covering two main types of possible payments:

uActual moving and related expenses. That covers the packing, moving, and unpacking of personal property and equipment. It could also include costs associated with the connecting and reconnecting of personal property or equipment.

uBusiness re-establishment expenses. These are expenses that can be used by PG&E to assist in re-establishing the business operations by making repairs, improvements and/or modifications to the replacement real property. There is a statutory cap of $25,000 on re-establishment expenses.

The reimbursements are in addition to the costs SSJID will pay to acquire and sever the retail grid within its boundaries from the PG&E system.

The SSJID got the go ahead last year from the San Joaquin County Local Agency Formation Commission to enter the retail electric business. That opened the door for the district to start negotiating with PG&E to buy the system or — if that isn’t successful — to secure it through the commendation process.

The goal of SSJID is to lower retail electric rates 15 percent across the board. That cost savings is realized primarily by eliminating the roughly 12 percent profits that the California Public Utilities Commission guarantees PG&E can make through power charges and rate hikes.

It currently represents $12 million that residents, farmers, and businesses within the SSJID boundaries would keep in their pockets instead of paying for energy.