Vote ‘For’ franchises

The Grand Junction City Charter requires voters to give their approval to franchise agreements for utilities operating within the city, and voters should do so without hesitation this election.

Referred Measure B on the municipal ballot would extend the franchise agreements between the city, Xcel Energy and Grand Valley Rural Power Lines. Both utilities provide electric service within the city, although Xcel is by far the larger provider in Grand Junction.

As The Daily Sentinel’s Amy Hamilton noted in an article Thursday, electric service won’t halt if the franchise agreements aren’t renewed this year. But the ability of the utilities to use city rights of way for utility lines could be jeopardized. And that could mean the utilities have to acquire additional private easements in the future, costing customers more than the 3 percent of their electric bills they now pay in franchise fees.

Franchise agreements are standard procedure between municipalities and utilities throughout Colorado, and there is little unusual about these two. Extending them another 20 years is the sensible thing to do.

Vote “For the Ordinance” on Referred Measure B.


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