Pueblo City Council approves resolution to look into cutting ties with Black Hills Energy

PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - UPDATE (9/25/17 9 p.m.): The Pueblo City Council approved a resolution Monday night to explore the idea of cutting ties with Black Hills Energy and creating a municipal utility for electricity.

The resolution allows the city to study their options when it comes to creating a municipal utility. A commission will be formed to work with consultants on what it will take and if it is feasible to terminate the Black Hill Franchise agreement by 2020.

PREVIOUS (9/25/17):
The city council chambers were at capacity Monday evening as citizens gathered to hear input on creating a municipal utility for electricity, cutting ties with Black Hills Energy.

A resolution declaring the City of Pueblo's intent to terminate its franchise agreement with Black Hills Energy at the midpoint of the franchise was being presented. The midpoint of the 20-year agreement is in 2020. The franchise agreement can only be terminated by voters.

Monday's city council vote would only be a step toward creating a municipal utility for electricity and parting ways with Black Hills Energy. The summary of the resolution states studies would need to demonstrate the city can successfully own and operate a municipal electric utility.

In 2010, the city council referred to the voters of the city, Ordinance No. 8186, which granted an electric utility franchise to Black Hills. The Black Hills franchise was approved by the voters in a Special Franchise Election held in August 2010.

If the council approves the resolution, legal, financial and operational feasibility studies will need to be conducted to find out if the city can successfully provide an electric utility service by Aug. 11, 2020.

Click here to read the resolution.