(The following Letter to the Editor has been submitted by Julie and Robert Fischer of Decorah):
"We applaud the City Council and the citizens' Decorah Power Committee for exploring the possibility of owning our own power grid and determining our energy future. At present our energy is supplied by a monopoly, an out-of-state corporation called Alliant. It charges upwards of 16 cents a kilowatt hour, the highest rates in Iowa. When we are locally owned we will be able to access wholesale energy markets and invest in locally owned clean energy generation.
The feasibility study is favorable; it was done using very conservative figures, like the worst case scenario. Even at that, Decorah will stand to benefit by potentially 5 million in savings per year. This will make us more flexible in taking advantage of emerging technologies like battery storage and highly efficient solar.
What about storms and outages? There are 136 independently owned municipal utilities in Iowa and all have agreements with each other to share trained personnel and equipment. Studies show that they can get the job done faster than Alliant's crews. Here's another smart move: just as Spencer and Cedar Falls' publicly owned utilities invested in underground lines, decreasing emergency repair needs, we could too. And all this means more jobs for Decorah and more local control.
On Feb. 19 City Council will decide whether to put this issue before citizens as a referendum vote in May. Contact your Council person and ask him or her to vote FOR the referendum. Let's be smart and keep the profits at home."