Recount Vote in Decorah Monday

posted by WMT News / KCRG - 

DECORAH, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) - Close to 50 percent of the people voting in Deborah on Tuesday want the city to form its own electric utility, but another half of the voters don't.

Four votes are all that divide those for and against forming a utility.

The city says it has more than a dozen absentee votes to count and won't be doing that until Monday.

To the voters in Decorah, it ultimately comes down to money.

Emily Neal with Decorah Power, the group trying to start the municipal utility, says it would be cheaper and greener to part ways with Alliant energy.

"We are essentially trying to eliminate the middleman, Alliant," Neal said.

Neal says people in Decorah would save 30 percent a year by switching to a municipal utility.

The "no" voters like antique shop owner Nancy Lerdall say buying out Alliant would be too expensive, and increase taxes.

"Alliant energy has been here for over 100 years and they're very very dependable when we've had a major flood they were there day and night and brought in all sorts of equipment to get everybody up and going," Lerdall said.

With a vote split nearly down the middle and 15 absentee votes out there it could go either way.

Even if the results come back as a no, Decorah Power says it will gear up to fight Alliant again in four years.

Mike Wagner, a spokesperson with Alliant energy sent TV9 a statement: 

“We want to thank our customers for their ongoing support and the entire community for the healthy debate that accompanied this process.

"With a four vote margin and with 15 potential votes still outstanding, we will let the process play out. We look forward to the final results.

"We look forward to working with the City Council and community leaders to chart a path that assures our customer’s needs are met,” Wagner said.

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