Aug. 3, 2011 - Boulder council moves ahead on municipalization questions; final vote scheduled for Aug. 16
Boulder council moves ahead on municipalization questions; final vote scheduled for Aug. 16
City Council took a significant vote last night on the question of how residents and businesses will get their electricity in the future. Council refined, and then unanimously approved, ballot language that will ask voters on Nov. 1 to give the city authority to create a local electric utility.
One final vote on this issue is scheduled for Aug. 16, but council has indicated this can go on the consent agenda, so no significant changes are anticipated.
The approved ballot language includes several provisions that place limitations on the authority to issue bonds and chart out clear public involvement and representation on an advisory board to guide future decisions. These include:
Each of these issues is covered in the ballot language and accompanying ordinance for the first of two measures voters will be asked to consider.
The second, related question will ask voters to approve an increase in the Utility Occupation Tax that Xcel currently collects from customers. This increase is necessary to fund legal and engineering costs the city will incur while working to determine a final price to purchase Xcel’s system. The tax, which would raise up to $1.9 million a year, would last either until Dec. 13, 2017, or until the city makes a decision about whether or not to proceed with buying the system, whichever occurs first. The idea of the tax is to provide the funding for the period before the city could actually launch a utility without having to move forward on issuing bonds. This period is expected to last three to six years.
“This is an exciting time for Boulder, and it was very satisfying to see council come to some important conclusions last night," said Mayor Susan Osborne. "The language that we expect to go before voters includes carefully thought out opportunities and limitations that address both the city’s economic and environmental objectives. Although there are still some differences of opinion on council, we are unanimous that it is time to ask voters to play their part in charting out our future.”
More details, including specific ballot language and staff memos to council, are available at http://www.boulderenergyfuture.com. A complete broadcast of the council meeting is available for viewing at http://www.bouldercolorado.gov/channel8 under the Council Archives menu item.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 11 December 2012 10:21