This November, City of Montrose residents have a chance to vote on a key issue that will have an impact on the City for years to come. Ballot Measure 2A relates to the contract (called a “franchise agreement”) between the City of Montrose and DMEA that governs DMEA’s electric service within city limits. DMEA urges you to vote YES on Ballot Measure 2A on November 3, 2020.
Don’t DMEA and Montrose already have a franchise agreement?
Yes. Our current franchise agreement with the City of Montrose began in 2001. But it expires next year. Over the past few months, the City and DMEA have worked hard to review, update, and renew our franchise. We’ve reached a new 20-year agreement, but the Charter for the City of Montrose gives City voters the final say on its adoption.
What is an electric franchise agreement?
Generally, electric franchise agreements are contracts between cities and utilities relating to electric service to city residents. Here, the City of Montrose franchise specifies how DMEA must operate its system within city limits; this includes things like safety, reliability, the use of public rights-of-way, and new construction requirements. It also provides that DMEA will collect and return to the City a franchise fee from sales to DMEA members.
What is a franchise fee? Is that fee going to change?
Every franchise agreement includes a fee that is assessed to the utility’s consumers. The fee covers the City’s cost for DMEA to operate in and occupy the public rights-of-way. DMEA collects this fee on behalf of the City and transfers 100% of the amounts collected back to the City. In our case, DMEA members residing within the Montrose city limits currently pay a 3% franchise fee. That fee does not change under Ballot Measure 2A.
Why does DMEA need a franchise agreement?
Our grid—the poles, wire, and equipment that bring reliable and safe electricity to your home—runs along every City street in public rights-of-way. DMEA uses this grid to deliver you the power you need and uses public rights-of-way for maintenance, construction, and repairs—day or night. DMEA and the City worked together to develop this new agreement for the benefit of our members and citizens.
Does the updated agreement change the electric rates for DMEA members?
No. Our franchise agreement with the City of Montrose does not change your rates. It does not increase the City’s Franchise Fee on your bill. If you reside within city limits, you currently pay a 3% fee each month on your bill. Ballot Measure 2A includes that same 3% rate.
Has the Montrose City Council approved the franchise agreement?
Yes. The Montrose City Council unanimously endorsed the franchise agreement on August 18, 2020, and voted to send the agreement to City voters for final approval in November. In doing so, the Montrose City Council said it “finds and believes that it is in the best interest of the City and the inhabitants hereof to grant a limited, non-exclusive utility franchise to DMEA for the provision of electricity.” The DMEA board has also voted unanimously to approve it.
Can I read the full franchise agreement?
Yes. Click here to download the agreement.
What if I have more questions?
If you have additional questions, please contact us at 877-687-3632 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.