Town of Granby OKs electricity franchise agreement | SkyHiNews.com

Town of Granby OKs electricity franchise agreement

Tonya Bina
tbina@grandcountynews.com
Grand County, Colorado

With a vote on Tuesday, Granby Town Board accepted a franchise agreement with Mountain Parks Electric that could secure a $40,000 line item in the town’s 2009 budget.

Mountain Parks is poised to pay Granby 2 percent of all revenue received monthly from the sale of electric power within the town for the next 20 years.

Franchise fees, added to consumers’ utility bills within town jurisdictions, are paid to towns for a utility company’s privilege of providing service within those towns. For Mountain Parks Electric, that means supplying electricity to consumers.

Towns use the money to fund various services such as street maintenance, parks and general administration.

Prior to January 2008, Mountain Parks had a fee of 2 percent tacked onto utility bills of Grand Lake and Granby residents, which amounted to about $2 per month for the average consumer.

This fee generated about $24,000 a year for the town of Grand Lake and $45,000-$50,000 for the town of Granby.

But negotiations with Mountain Parks Electric about details of continued franchise agreements went dry after the previous agreement expired last year.

Granby Town Manager Wally Baird resumed Granby’s negotiations post-budget time with $40,000 or more noted to be hanging in the balance.

One of the sticking points during negotiations, Baird said at Tuesday’s Granby board meeting, was exempting future substations from being considered a conditional use.

Since a substation is planned to be built on the south side of Granby in the future, Mountain Parks was against having to go through Granby’s zoning processes for such a building.

For Baird, the request was suitable. “I don’t have any real problems with it,” he said.

The town will still maintain the ability to screen Mountain Park’s substation plans, Baird said, adding he has never seen a town set up substations as a conditional use since utilities are a necessity.

Mountain Parks board members have agreed to Granby’s franchise agreement “in principle,” but have not yet taken formal action on it, according to Assistant General Manager Tom Sifers. The agreement is planned to be an agenda item for this week’s board meeting.

Meanwhile, the town of Grand Lake has also resumed franchise talks with Mountain Parks.

“I think there will be a favorable outcome on that,” Sifers said.

” Tonya Bina can be reached at 887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail tbina@grandcountynews.com.


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