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Final vote expected Monday on Pueblo utility ordinance

Posted at 5:50 PM, Feb 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-07 23:22:39-05

PUEBLO — Pueblo City Council is expected to take a final vote Monday night on an ordinance to ask voters whether the city should take over the electric utility.

If it passes, the measure would go on the ballot in May.

Many Black Hills Energy customers say they are frustrated with high electric rates and steep disconnect and reconnect fees.

The city entered a 20-year agreement with Black Hills 10 years ago, but state law allows municipalities to ask voters if they want to opt out at the 10- and 15-year marks of the contract.

Councilman Mark Aliff told News5 an earlier proposal from Black Hills fell short.

"My constituents that I talk to are sick and tired of paying these high rates, and they're looking for an opportunity to reduce their rates. Black Hills did not offer to reduce their rates. So, City Council didn't feel that was a good alternative," Aliff said.

The ballot question on the agenda asks voters if the Board of Waterworks should run the day-to-day operations of the electric utility in a city takeover.