A multi-million dollar power deal was approved by city council in Orillia on Monday, as councillors voted six to three in favour of selling Orillia Power’s distribution arm to Hydro One.

The deal is worth $26-million; that represents more than twice the book value of the utility. As part for the deal, distribution charges will be reduced by one per cent, and guaranteed for five years.

“We’re only selling the distribution assets,” says the city’s Mayor, Steve Clarke. “We are maintaining the generation side of the business, which was have a long and stories history with.”

“We’re thrilled. What a wonderful community,” says the President and CEO of Hydro One, Mayo Schmidt. “The outreach by the mayor and the city councillors was tremendous, and I really believe it allowed this opportunity to come together.”

Hydro One intends to build three facilities on thirty six acres of land in the city’s west end. The Mayor says this will help create jobs.

“These are very good, high quality jobs,” he says.

The three councillors opposing the agreement argued residents weren’t being included in such an important decision.

The mayor defended that position. “We’re certainly not able to divulge all the details that, quite frankly, would have killed the deal. But we divulged what we could. Today we were able to divulge more information,” he says.

Hydro One has also agreed to pay three million dollars for sixteen acres of land in west Orillia. The company plans to establish an advanced technology hub within the home business park.

Before shovels break ground the decision will have to get approval from the Ontario Energy Board. Council and Hydro One say they expect to submit the application within the next forty five days.