Boulder votes to keep going with Xcel ouster

  • Article by: DAVID SHAFFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 6, 2013 - 11:31 AM

Voters in Tuesday’s election overwhelmingly reaffirmed the Colorado city’s effort to create a municipal electric utility to replace Xcel Energy.

The city of Boulder, Colo., will march forward with its plans to oust Xcel Energy and create a municipal electric company to replace the Minneapolis-based utility.

Boulder voters, faced with two ballot questions Tuesday to alternatively pursue or kill the effort, voted overwhelmingly to keep going. With all ballots counted, voters approved a pro-municipalization question by 2-1, while an Xcel-backed measure lost by nearly the same ratio.

That’s a wider approval margin than on the 2011 municipalization ballot question whose passage started Boulder’s process to oust Xcel.

More than $1.3 million was pumped into campaigns for and against the measure, with Xcel contributing more than $800,000, according to campaign finance reports. An online fundraising effort by pro-municipalization group raised nearly $200,000.

As Boulder moves to break away from Xcel, the city likely faces regulatory and court battles over the cost of acquiring its power poles, lines and other assets. The city has modeled the cost at $150 million to $455 million.

 

David Shaffer • 612-673-7090 • @ShafferStrib

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