Black Hills off ramp

A word of caution to anyone who is thinking of voting for doing away with the Black Hills Energy franchise and allowing the Pueblo Board of Water Works to run the electric utility that would replace it.

Section 15-7 of the proposed ordinance states that the utility would operate as an enterprise. "The Board of Water Works of Pueblo, Colorado shall deliver electric power and water services as an enterprise, as that term is defined by Colorado law. The Board of Water Works of Pueblo, Colorado shall be operated and maintained as an enterprise so as to exclude its activities from the application of Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution."

In case the reader is not aware, Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution is the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, and the wording of the ordinance specifically excludes the city's proposed water and electric works utility from having to comply with it, thus voter approval would not be needed for electricity rate increases. Also, PUC oversight is not mentioned in the ordinance and might not even be applicable because per the ordinance the water and electric works will be a city enterprise and PUC has only "partial regulatory control over municipal utilities and electric associations."

George A. Rivera, Pueblo

 

Bringing home the power

Much has been said about the spirit of municipal adventurism that wants to bring home electric power by owning and operating an electrical distribution system.

I am curious about a couple of important things that have been noticeable because I have not seen even a casual and passing reference to them. Maybe there has been a tacit presumption that the "New Pueblo" will have the technical and financial expertise to handle them. Specifically, I never have seen any reference to the following two items or discussion in news media, The Chieftain: technical capability and financial strength to buy bulk power at prices lower than what the current electric utility charges, and the capability to arrange for intra/inter-state transmission capacity for the power purchased according to city's schedule and need for electric power.

David Singh, Pueblo