RALEIGH -- This week, state legislators will begin looking anew at an old problem -- debt taken on by 51 North Carolina communities back in the 1970s in order to provide electricity to their residents.
The debt, taken on as the municipalities decided to buy into new power plants, rose because of cost overruns at the plants. Declining inflation also meant that electricity rates in other communities didn't rise as much as predicted.
The result is that electricity rates in those 51 communities are much higher than the rest of state. In some cases, rates are as much as 50 percent higher.