Golden Valley to host energy franchise fee hearing Dec. 18

The Golden Valley City Council will hold a public hearing 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 18, to take comments about a proposed franchise fee on CenterPoint Energy to help fund needed infrastructure repairs.

According to Minnesota Statute Sect 216B.36, cities may impose franchise fees on private utility companies for use of the public right-of-ways. Energy providers pass the fees on to their customers within the city.

If the franchise fee is approved, CenterPoint Energy would add flat fees to Golden Valley customers’ monthly bills beginning in April, depending on their usage classification. The monthly fee would be $2 for residential customers, $3.50 for small commercial properties, $22.50 for larger commercial or industrial properties, and $206 for commercial or industrial properties with dual fuel rates.

The proposed CenterPoint franchise fee is expected to provide approximately $447,000 in annual revenue, which will not be enough to address the city’s infrastructure issues.

The funds will be coupled with other fees, grants and assessments to pay for projects such as reconstruction of Douglas Drive between Highway 55 and Medicine Lake Road; Zane Avenue between Highway 55 and Golden Valley Road; and Lindsay Street between Zane Avenue and Lilac Drive, among others.

The city approved an ordinance in October requiring Xcel Energy to pay an electric franchise fee to raise revenue for the city’s portion of infrastructure and related costs for the Douglas Drive Reconstruction Project, scheduled for 2016.

Other cities that have both gas and electric franchise fees include Brooklyn Center, Hopkins, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Monticello, New Hope, Robbinsdale and St. Louis Park.

For more information about the proposed CenterPoint franchise fee, call Golden Valley Public Works at 763-593-8030.