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Decorah City Council appoints task force to study whether to hold another Municipal Electric Utility vote

Posted: Mon, Dec 7, 2020 6:56 PM

The Decorah City Council voted 6-1 Monday night to create a nine-member task force to look into the possibility of holding another referendum on establishing a municipal electric utility in Decorah.

The task force will meet beginning in January and will commission an MEU feasibility study to be completed by next fall.  It will then make a recommendation to the city council about whether and when to hold a second MEU referendum.  That could come as soon as May of 2022.

Monday night's vote followed a lengthy discussion by city council members, centering on the backgrounds of the nine proposed task force members.  Mayor Lorraine Borowski said she was concerned that the task force member list contained several people who live outside Decorah.  City council member Emily Neal replied that the MEU would go outside Decorah city limits, so it was appropriate to have such members.

City council member Andy Carlson asked whether the members of the task force should be chosen because they were passionate about an MEU or impartial.  Fellow city council member Ross Hadley stated, "We're overthinking this."  Hadley made the motion to approve the Sustainability Commission's recommendation in full--and the motion passed with only city council member Randy Schissel dissenting.