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Eagle Mountain Council Accepts Rocky Mountain Power’s Bid to Buy City’s Utilities

Eagle Mountain City officials voted Tuesday to approve Rocky Mountain Power's bid to purchase its municipal power company. But it will be up to voters to make a final decision in November.

Eagle Mountain is projected to be among the fastest growing areas in the state over the coming decades. That’s one of the reasons City Councilor Tom Westmoreland thinks the city should get out of the power business.

“That’s a lot of responsibility to put on a city, particularly when you don’t produce your own power,” Westmoreland says. “We have to buy our own power on the market, and so we’re subject to market rates.”

The Eagle Mountain City Council voted 4 to 1 to approve Rocky Mountain Power’s bid. The private company is offering 21 million dollars for the city’s electric distribution system and has committed to building a $600,000 upgrade to make the system more reliable.

Westmoreland says customers should expect consistent and fair market value power over the long term. He also believes that the move would downsize city government. Rocky Mountain Power has agreed to absorb the city’s power employees.

“As a city, we will be able to cut costs and focus on what our primary responsibilities are, rather than having one foot in city government and one foot in the power industry,” he says.

Rocky Mountain Power’s bid was approved over South Utah Valley Electric Service District. Mayor Chris Pengra says the nationwide private company has more resources to support Eagle Mountain’s rapid growth.

“New transmissions line in the ground, hooking customers up to receive service - they can handle that sustained growth,” Pengra says.  

He believes customers will see their rates go down on average. City voters will decide for themselves whether they want Rocky Mountain as their power company when they go to the polls in November.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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