Voters To Decide On Franchise Agreements Tuesday

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If the electricity goes off at midnight tonight, would you want APS to have to wait until 8 a.m. to get a permit from Town Hall to make repairs?

This is just one of the reasons why the utility company is seeking to continue its franchise agreement with the town -- to avoid having to get a permit every time the company needs to do work on its equipment on the town's rights-of-way.

Energy West Inc. -- formerly Broken Bow Gas -- also is seeking to extend its franchise agreement that allows the company to maintain and operate a gas utility system without getting permits every time work has to be done.

Payson voters will decide Tuesday whether these franchise agreements should continue. These are items that must, by state law, go before a vote of the people at least every 25 years.

It's been 25 years since the Town of Payson first entered into an agreement with the utility companies. APS and Energy West are splitting the cost of the special election, which could come to as much as $15,000.

As part of the agreements, APS would pay the town a fee of $170,000 annually, to be adjusted yearly for inflation.

Energy West will pay the town 2 percent of its in-town sales.

The agreements can be re-evaluated after 10 years and are non-exclusive, meaning that any other electric or gas company could come in and sign similar agreements with the town.

Regardless of the outcome of the election, both companies will continue to serve the community.

For additional information on the franchise election, call APS at 474-7645 or 474-7633. The franchise can be reviewed prior to the election at Town Hall.

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