Decorah residents seek to start municipal utility

Decorah, Iowa (AP) – Residents in Decorah are facing strong opposition from utility giant Alliant Energy as the community considers establishing a municipal utility in hopes of investing more in renewable energy.

Decorah residents hope to take millions of dollars built into the utility’s rates and use the money for community projects and initiatives instead. The city has about 8,000 residents.

The Decorah Power group is supporting a May 1 referendum that would encourage the city to explore the option. The group predicts that a municipal utility could save residents up to $5 million annually.

Alliant says the group is underestimating the cost of creating a city utility. A company consultant says a municipal electric group would increase customers’ rates by 30 percent.

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