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Two major ordinances on Monday's agenda for Pueblo City Council

Posted at 10:39 PM, Jan 10, 2020

PUEBLO — Pueblo City Council will release a new ordinance Monday related to the city's ongoing plan to create its own public utility company.

Under the new ordinance, Black Hills Energy would provide huge financial incentives to the city, provided the city agrees not to terminate the current contract and holds off any plan to form a municipal utility until at least August of 2030.

In return, Black Hills would not seek a utility increase until at least 2025, cooperate with the city to transition to 100% renewable energy by 2035, and provide $400,000 every year for the rest of its current contract for low-income energy assistance. Black Hills would also provide an average of $400,000 per year to community organizations, and $350,000 annually for economic development.

More information on these and other provisions is available in the full text of the ordinance.

The city has been working on a two-phased plan to create its own utility since September of 2017, claiming Pueblo customers are paying excessive monthly utility costs.

Also on the agenda for Monday's City Council Meeting is a 10 year tax break that could benefit the planned long rail expansion at the EVRAZ steel mill. The ordinance would amend the current city code on sales and use taxes, and would apply to any new large-scale operation built on or after January of 2019 in the city or in Pueblo County. However, companies would be required to invest at least $200 million in their facility and maintain a workforce of at least 500 people during the time period of the exemption.

These are just two of the items planned for discussion Monday. The full agenda is available through the City of Pueblo website.

The meeting gets underway at 7 p.m. Monday. News5 will be at the meeting and bring a full report on those issues.