Higher power bills put Grand Mesa Little League in a bind

Grand Mesa Little League is fighting the power.

Grand Mesa President Dave Mantlo said the league’s Xcel power bill has risen from $500 to $2,000 a month from August to March.

“We are jammed up against it,” Mantlo said.

Grand Mesa was on budget billing, which allowed the league to pay $500 a month during the time the complex doesn’t have heavy use. That allowed Mantlo to keep the security lighting, phone service and water pump in working order.

During the April through July baseball and softball season, the league’s power bill jumped to roughly $6,000 a month, Mantlo said.

Fred Eggleston of Xcel Energy said the budget billing takes a customer’s bill over a 12-month period and divides it into 12 equal payments, but couldn’t discuss the details of a customer’s individual bill.

Mantlo said the jump would cause “a $12,000 increase in our power bills.”

Mantlo said the league could completely shut off the power to the facility during the months he isn’t watering the field, but decided that’s not an option.

“We’d be completed blacked out, and you worry about people breaking in then,” Mantlo said. “We also hold our meetings there, so we wouldn’t be able to do any of those things.”

Grand Mesa has a total of 18 light poles on its various fields.

“We could play all day games, but we don’t have enough daylight to fit in all the games we need to play,” Mantlo said.

Every Little League facility has to deal with paying to light the fields. Pete Steves of Orchard Mesa Little League said it pays a $900 surcharge every month the league turns on the lights. Steves said the Orchard Mesa Little League power bill, through Grand Valley Power, falls back to $100-200 during the offseason.

“If (Grand Mesa) is getting that kind of bill during the offseason when you don’t have any money coming in, it makes it tough,” Steves said.

Monument Little League is also serviced by Xcel Energy, and Monument President Toby Cruz said he’s noticed higher bills lately.

“I paid just last week and it was $637, which is high for us, being that nothing is there except a couple of security lights,” Cruz said. “I’m going to keep tracking and see what’s going on.”

Mantlo said Grand Mesa is doing all it can to pay the high power bills, and some of the funds will have to come from other sources.

“We’d have the funds to make the season but that (money) gets taken out of equipment and other things,” Mantlo said. “We could raise what we charge per kid, and I’m not increasing this year. We are fighting to stay where we are at.”


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