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Electric Cooperative manager from Kalona says Decorah should be able to have its own community electric utility

Posted: Mon, Oct 9, 2017 3:42 PM

Farmers Electric Co-op of Kalona Manager Warren McKenna says he sees no reason Decorah can't have its own locally-owned electric utility.

McKenna visited Decorah Monday as part of a Decorah Power Learning Series designed to investigate the opportunities and challenges involved in a Decorah municipal electric utility.

McKenna told a group at Decorah City Hall that Farmers Electric Cooperative currently has no debt and has money in the bank.  He says that's because the co-op doesn't have to pay eight percent of its revenues to investors, as many commercial utilities do.  Instead, the co-op in Kalona is able to spend money into equipment upgrades of its system and into paying well for good employees.

Farmers Electric Cooperative in Kalona has around 600 customers and 750 meters.  McKenna says if his community can make an electric utility work, a community like Decorah with four times as many electric customers should have enough money to do a good job.