DECORAH — Decorah residents will likely be voting on whether to pursue a municipal electric utility on May 1.
The Decorah City Council held a 90-minute work session this week on issues related to municipalization and reached an informal consensus on scheduling a vote in May. The Council will consider a resolution formally setting the date during its Monday meeting.
Alliant Energy currently provides the city’s electricity and its franchise with the city expires in May. A citizens group Decorah Power has been exploring the possibility of establishing a MEU that would provide electricity services the same way the city provides water and sewer services. Last March, the Council approved a moratorium on renegotiating a franchise agreement renewal with Alliant Energy, while the idea of a MEU is studied. That moratorium ended Dec. 31.
Decorah Power and Alliant recently presented the Council with their feasibility studies on establishing a MEU in Decorah. Decorah Power’s study estimated it would cost about $7.6 million to acquire Alliant’s infrastructure and start a MEU, while Alliant’s study estimated it would cost about $51 million.
Assistant City Attorney John Anderson advised the Council Tuesday to keep a “long game perspective” when pursuing a MEU.