March 2, 2020

Mike Tanner

WATERTOWN, S.D.–A bill that would determine who can serve electric customers in newly-annexed areas of a city continues to be debated in Pierre.

Rural electric co-ops are upset that municipal utilities are grabbing those customers when a city expands its boundaries.

A bill passed the house last week that states any further disputes going forward would be settled in circuit court, with the loser having no right to appeal.

Senator Lee Schoenbeck of Watertown (pictured) says this is an economic development issue that is critical to cities like Watertown with large projects coming on board, like Terex, and the utility needs they’ll have.

Schoenbeck calls it a “terrible bill”…….

Schoenbeck spoke at a cracker barrel Saturday at the Watertown Home Show…

The bill passed the House 48-20. Both Watertown Representatives, Hugh Bartels and Nancy York voted “no.”