Nearly $40K Electric Bill Almost Leaves Allen-Bowden School In The Dark

Tuesday, October 25th 2016, 10:47 pm
By: News On 6

A Green Country school almost lost power this week because of an electric bill that claimed the district owed tens of thousands of dollars.

But, some quick work by the Allen-Bowden School superintendent is keeping the lights on.

Monday, Kelly Husted opened a bill from OG&E spanning two months; he expected it to be in the hundreds, but it was in the thousands - nearly $40,000.

"Almost heartbreaking, really,” the superintendent said. “When you get something like that."

As Husted flipped through papers and bills, he was shocked to come across a bill showing a shut-off notice for Thursday.

"Your account in the amount of $44,549.80 is unpaid," Husted said. "One month, $391 electric bill, to the next month a $39,000 electric bill."

The superintendent said there’s no explanation.

Allen-Bowden is pre-k through eighth grade; with 360 kids in his district, and their parents expecting the lights to be on, Husted made a phone call.

"I get on the phone with OG&E immediately working on, what happened," he asked.

Husted said OG&E told him one of its meters has been reading wrong since 2012 and that the bill represents money owed.

He explained the school's situation and how it's illegal for him to use current money for previous years' expenses.

"You know how bad education funding is, I don't have $39,000 to pay to an electric bill," he said.

Faced with an unbelievably high bill and the possibility of having to shut the power off, Husted had little options; but it was his conversation with OG&E that changed everything.

"I just kind of laid it out for him, like, 'there's no possible way I can pay this,'" he said.

The superintendent said OG&E found the problem was on the company's end and Allen-Bowden didn't have to pay.

"Said, 'Hey, we're going to take care of it; that was our fault,' and they are eating the cost,” Husted said.

He said he’s grateful to OG&E and thankful the lights will stay on.

We reached out to OG&E about the case but have not heard back from the company.