Recently the Shakopee City Council decided to place on the ballot the issue of eliminating Shakopee Public Utilities as an independent entity that provides electricity and water to the residents of Shakopee. This action was taken in spite of the fact that:
SPU has provided dependable electricity and water to the city for decades (in 2020 its power reliability was 99.9% and outages averaging less than 10 minutes in 2019).
SPU provides these services at 10.3% less cost than Xcel.
SPU is debt free and keeping pace in a rapidly growing environment.
And it’s important to know that SPU also contributes 4.4% revenue annually to the city amounting to a total contribution of $2,426,144 in 2019 and 36 million since 2000.
But most important — SPUC being independent protects our rates from politics and hidden taxation. City needs are never ending for new projects and incentives for development which require massive funding. An independent SPU provides a balance to protect our rates and build reserves for costly infrastructure growth and contingencies. Combining SPU with the city removes this protection and opens its reserves to be raided.
As a resident of Shakopee for almost 50 years and a former SPU commissioner I’m appalled at the hidden agenda and negative campaign of an unchecked city administrator, a mayor who was in a unique position as leader having served on the SPUC for a decade and failed to mediate differences between the two, a state representative who tries to bypass our vote and a short-sighted city council except for Matt Lehman.
It’s our decision to keep Shakopee’s treasure or open our utility rates and reserves to the city. This treasure can reward perpetually or be gone forever when they decide to sell it.