What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to suzanne.ziegler@startribune.com.

Council members vote not to put utility question on ballot this year

Posted by: Maya Rao under Politics and government Updated: August 15, 2013 - 2:15 PM

Minneapolis won’t seek permission from voters to form a municipal utility after all – at least, not this year.

The Committee of the Whole voted this morning not to put the question on the ballot this November, instead directing city staff to begin negotiations with Xcel Energy and CenterPoint Energy on their franchise agreements set to expire at the end of 2014. Those agreements give the utilities public rights of way to provide electric and natural gas service in exchange for paying the city millions of dollars in fees.

The resolution also directed Minneapolis to continue advocating for changes at the Minnesota Legislature that would give the city more flexibility in drafting franchise agreements that help meet the city’s energy goals.

Council Member Cam Gordon, who had authored separate resolutions to put the matter on the ballot, said that the utility companies had shown a “sincere commitment” to partner with the city.
 

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