Pueblo City Council shoots down Black Hills Energy agreement

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PUEBLO, Colo — A late city council meeting Monday night, decided to decline Black Hills Energy contract ending the cities agreement with the company that they’ve had since 2010.

The meeting wrapped up around 11 p.m. with a packed house. After hours of public comment on the agreement brought forth by dozens of members of the public.

Black Hills said their agreement was fair offering a 5-year rate freeze and other commitments to invest in Pueblo.

While people opposed to the agreement said Black Hills isn’t lowering rates, which is why they sought out an agreement in the first place.

After the public comment period, Congressmen Ray Aguilera and Mark Aliff said people in Pueblo are already struggling to pay their bills.

Congressmen Aliff motioned to table the discussion indefinitely, essentially shooting down the Black Hills agreement and that motion passed 4-2. Applause erupted after the vote.

  • The city council approved an ordinance calling for a special election on May 5 of this year.
  • At the meeting on Feb. 10 city council will have the second reading for another ordinance An ordinance allowing voters’ choice on whether the City of Pueblo can create a municipal utility. We’ll keep you up to date on the issue

The decision to unplug from Black Hills Energy has been in the works for years, since September 2017 with preliminary talks.

The city of Pueblo even conducting feasibility studies to see if the city could handle the expense.

That study by EES Consulting concluded that replacing Black Hills with a municipal electric utility will save residents 10 percent to 12 percent in lower electric rates for 20 years.

For example, if your electric bill is $100 per month, you will save between $120 and $144 per year. They also say decisions about rates will be made in Pueblo, not in South Dakota or Denver.

If the decision is made to vote on May 5 and the ordinance passes, the service will begin in August 2020.

>> Tap here for: Phase 2 of the Municipal Electric Utility Feasibility Study that was completed on October 10, 2019.

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