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Rocky Mountain Power to Take Over Eagle Mountain’s Electric System

Eagle Mountain City voters have decided they want Rocky Mountain Power to provide their electric service. Eagle Mountain has been managing their own utilities since the city was founded in 1996 with 250 residents. But Mayor Chris Pengra says the city has since grown to more than 25,000 people, and the population is expected to quadruple by 2050. Pengra says if the city continued to run the utilities, it would have to issue bonds to accommodate the growth, and that would drive up rates.

“Rocky Mountain Power and Questar Gas have access to capital that we don’t have, so the growth will be much easier to sustain simply because of their access to resources,” Pengra says.

Over the summer, the Eagle Mountain City Council accepted a 21.6 million dollar bid from Rocky Mountain Power and let voters make the final decision through a referendum. Residents voted 73 percent for the sale of the electric system. Pengra is impressed with voter turnout -  more than 35 percent of registered voters, a couple points higher than Utah County overall.

“This has been a topic of much conversation and debate over the last several months,” Pengra says. “I think this was an item that people were definitely interested in sharing their opinion and guiding the decision, so I think it really did drive voter turnout.”

The decision also paves the way for Questar Gas to provide natural gas to the city. The utility sale is expected to be finalized early next year.

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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