After ruling out selling the electricity company in February, councillors voted in favourof researching possible partners for Guelph Hydro at a meeting Tuesday evening.

Last October a committee was formed to look at all options surrounding Guelph Hydro. Selling it was voted down, but at a meeting Tuesday evening councillors voted in favourof researching possible partners for the utility to merge with.

In a closed door meeting earlier in the day, councillors heard from the committee that has been preparing business cases to assess potential partners.

Merging the electrical company is an option, as is not doing anything and keeping Guelph Hydro as it is now.

Guelph mayor Cam Guthrie says council is not looking to make any final decisions just yet, but they are exploring ideas for city assets.

“There are no preconceived notions, no preconceived outcomes in regards to where we’re going. Just because we’re looking at some other opportunities to merge, it does not mean that we forget about keeping what we have, and basing the decisions on the other potential mergers with the status quo. That is not off the table whatsoever.”

The recommendation is to check back in early fall with another update and possible next steps.

It will cost taxpayers another $200,000 to $300,000 for the next phase to continue.

If they do vote to merge this fall, the actual merger would take place in late 2017 or early 2018.

With reporting by Marc Venema.