first on decorahnews.com: Alliant Energy responds to the Iowa Utilities Board informal complaint filed by the City of Decorah
Posted: Thu, Jul 9, 2020 3:37 PM
Alliant Energy is telling the Iowa Utilities Board that it should dismiss an informal complaint filed with the IUB by the City of Decorah. The complaint contends Alliant is using possible charges for relocating electric utility lines along Locust Road as a way of pressuring Decorah to sign a franchise agreement with Alliant. But Alliant says in a letter to the IUB that the board should dismiss the complaint and give the two sides time to finalize a franchise agreement "that will mutually benefit both parties."
The letter written to the IUB by Alliant says, "The timing of the Locust Road project is not determined by (Alliant)." Alliant says having the Locust Road project take place at the same times as the utility is negotiating on a franchise agreement with the City of Decorah "is not demonstrative of duress."
Decorah City Council members also argued in their letter to the IUB that Decorah would be at "an unreasonable disadvantage" if Decorah were charged for the costs of relocating wires on Locust Road when Alliant didn't charge communities which had a franchise agreement. The Alliant letter points to an Iowa Supreme Court ruling in which the court rejected a similar argument from the City of Coralville.
The Alliant letter filed with the IUB also accuses the Decorah City Council of "confusing the issues of relocation and undergrounding." Alliant and the City of Decorah "have discussed relocation of the line as either an above-ground line or underground line," says the letter, but costs are charged to local governments without a franchise agreement "regardless of whether the relocated line is placed above-ground or underground."
The letter's main section is concluded with a statement from Alliant Energy that it "will continue to work in good faith with the members of the Decorah City Council, city leaders and residents of Decorah, with the goal of reaching a mutually agreeable franchise agreement."