Although numerous Alliant Energy employees attended Tuesday night’s Decorah City Council meeting to hear the results of a feasibility study on creating a municipal electric utility for the city, none of them spoke.
The citizens group Decorah Power commissioned the study.
The meeting was not a public hearing and only two comments from the public were allowed after an hour-long presentation followed by a 30-minute Council discussion.
Alliant Energy Communications Partner Mike Wagner, who attended the meeting, issued this statement on behalf of Alliant Tuesday night.
“Many parts of Decorah Power’s presentation should concern the citizens of this community.
“Their proposal would outsource local service crews and jobs and instead rely on out-of-town crews to maintain and service Decorah. If there was a tornado there would be no immediate local response.
“Their proposal also extends the Decorah network outside the city limits. If this issue goes to a vote, those people won’t get to vote in an election that could determine their electrical future.
“Decorah Power’s proposal also grossly underestimates the value of our system and places it at $5 million. An analysis of our system by Concentric Energy Advisors puts our buyout cost at more than $50 million dollars. We don’t think it is reasonable to ask citizens to take on millions in new debt to pay for a utility system that Decorah residents have already paid for through their utility bills.
“Tomorrow (Wednesday) we will ask the City Council for the opportunity to present our full feasibility study at the next Council meeting,”