It's now looking likely that Decorah voters will be asked Tuesday, May 2nd, whether the city should create its own municipal electric utility. But if voters approve such a referendum, that would NOT be the last word on the issue.
The Iowa Utilities Board would have to rule on the selling price of Alliant Energy's facilities in Decorah. That process would take a number of months, with both Alliant Energy and a Decorah municipal utility presenting their proposals. The Iowa Utilities Board would then issue its recommendation, but either utility could ask for a binding legal hearing before the Iowa Utilities Board--something which could possibly take more than a year.
Concentric Energy Advisors consultant Ann Bulkley on Monday night used a model that would have a Decorah municipal electric utility beginning service in 2021--which would represent three years before the utility started.
When asked Monday night whether Alliant would litigate any ruling by the Iowa Utilities Board, Alliant Energy Director of ED Operational Resources Randy Bauer said the utility, "will take (the issue) under advisement."
Bulkley estimated that legal costs incurred in an extended fight before the Iowa Utilities Board would run from $500,000 to $600,000.