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City of Decorah will send a letter to Alliant asking Alliant to hold off on installing smart meters

Posted: Wed, Jan 3, 2018 6:38 AM

With a possible referendum happening later this year on whether Decorah ought to create a municipal electric utility, Decorah City Council members have agreed to send a letter to Alliant Energy, asking the city's current utility if it would consider waiting to install new "smart meters."

The project might carry a price tag of one or two million dollars--money the new city utility would have to repay if voters authorized the utility.  That would be the case even if the equipment wouldn't be compatible with the new equipment the city utility would buy.

Alliant officials Tuesday night told city council members the installation already has been contracted.  But city council member Kirk Johnson called the possible delay in smart meter installation "a reasonable request" and city council member Ross Hadley pointed out Alliant would be free to answer the city's letter any way it wanted.

The city council approved the proposal on a 6-1 vote, with Randy Schissel opposed.