SPU meeting

Shakopee city officials and the city’s separate water and electric utility have long been at odds over transparency issues.

Shakopee residents could have the option to dissolve the Shakopee Public Utilities Commission at the ballot boxes come November, if Shakopee City Council approves the measure at its meeting Aug. 18.

In 1951, the city council voted to create an independent utilities commission SPUC to keep politics out of utility rates. The past several years, the utility and city have been at odds over transparency issues, water and utility rates and philosophical differences.

The request to discuss the dissolution of SPUC comes amid an investigation into the Shakopee Public Utilities Manager John Crooks, who — according to the state auditor’s office — is earning more than the state salary cap allows.

Mayor Bill Mars, who used to be part of the utilities commission, said dissolving the utility was an “interesting” topic to discuss while the investigation is ongoing, but said he supported a discussion.

“Certainly the issues have been ongoing for years; they span administration,” Mars said.

The city’s deadline to add items to the general election ballot is Aug. 21.

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