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City Considering Taking Over Utilities
In the past, we have asked you to join with us to help move Minneapolis forward. We worked together to support Target Field, transit, and the new Vikings stadium.
Today, we need your help on something that is very important and could have a big impact on our city.
The Minneapolis City Council is one step away from asking voters for permission to take over the energy system by establishing a new municipal utility.
This would create a city-owned and operated energy utility and abandon the City’s more than 100+ yearlong relationship with CenterPoint Energy and Xcel Energy. If a referendum passes, the City Council will have the ability to decide to spend potentially billions of dollars to create a public utility at any time.
Taking over the utilities is expensive, very complicated and has huge implications for the residents and businesses in the City of Minneapolis who depend on affordable and reliable electrical and gas service every day with a high level of customer service.
If Minneapolis decides to create its own municipal utilities, the City would become responsible for:
- Purchasing all Xcel Energy and CenterPoint assets currently used to provide service in Minneapolis (utility poles, wires, substations, piping, etc.) – a cost of potentially billions of taxpayer dollars
- Providing reliable, safe and affordable electric and gas service to customers and restoring service whenever there is a power outage
- Creating a brand new system to manage energy purchasing, field operations, billing and customer service – duplicating what Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy already have been using for years
- Paying for additional investments and upgrades to meet renewable (solar, wind) or other environmental goals set by the City
- Ongoing investments to maintain, repair or replace physical infrastructure
We think asking the public to vote on this in November is a mistake.
We need your help make sure the Minneapolis City Council hears our voice and rejects the plan.
Chamber Releases Municipalization Survey
A decision to take over the City’s utilities has huge implications for the residents and businesses in the City of Minneapolis who depend on affordable and reliable electrical service every day, with a high level of customer service. In our continuing effort to inform the debate on the potential municipalization of utilities in Minneapolis, we released a survey this week of residents.
Our goal throughout this process has been to inform the discussion and avoid the divisiveness and cost of putting the municipalization question on the November ballot.
Our survey shows that, by a margin of 64 percent to 33 percent, likely voters oppose a referendum creating a city-owned utility. One-quarter of likely voters strongly oppose the referendum, with only three percent strongly in support.
Here is a link to our press release and a fact sheet outlining some key findings. The bottom line is that Minneapolis residents have a great deal of confidence in their current utilities and prefer either less City activity or a path of collaboration and partnership between the City and the utilities to help Minneapolis achieve the energy goals laid out in its Climate Action Plan.
We will continue to work with all parties to resolve this issue as soon as possible. Nothing is gained by a long, divisive and costly contest over this matter. We have so many other issues to work on together that are pressing and critical. It is our hope that the City and its utility partners will sit down and devise a plan that serves both our residents and business community. We stand ready to assist in any way we can.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Contact City Council members via phone, email or mail to express your opposition to putting municipalization on the ballot and urge them to work with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy to develop the right plan for Minneapolis’ energy future
- Attend the public hearing on August 1 at 10:00am to show your opposition to the municipalization vote. (Council Chamber, Room 317 City Hall)
- Stay informed and share this with your employees, customers, vendors, and others you think would share our concern.
For more information contact the Minneapolis Regional Chamber, we would be happy to talk with you about it.
We know you are very busy and only make this request because of the importance of this issue and how much is at stake.
Thanks for your support and help.
President & CEO