Registered voters inside the city limits of Guthrie will decide if they want to have electricity for the next 25 years. Yes, we’re serious.
The Guthrie city council voted unanimously Tuesday evening to hold an election on August 23 to allow Oklahoma Gas and Electric (OG&E) company, an Oklahoma Corporation the right to produce, transmit and distribute electricity within the city limits and to sell electricity therein for all purposes for which it may be used within the city limits.
Under Oklahoma law, after the elected officials approve a proposed franchise, the franchise is submitted for a vote, and must be approved by an affirmative vote at an election called for that purpose.
If approved, the franchise permit would be for 25 years.
According to City officials, OG&E is the lone electricity company permitted by the Corporation Commission to serve the area.
City Manager Leroy Alsup warned citizens that customer rates with OG&E will not be factored into the vote, but simply allow OG&E to provide the service.
“If there are issues relevant with the rates, those should be addressed through the (Oklahoma) Corporation Commission process not on a vote whether or not we want to have somebody supply electricity,” Alsup said.
The last time the franchise permit went to the voters was in Feb. 1998. With only a turnout of 3.8% of registered voters, citizens passed the permit with 404 yes votes and 81 no votes.
OG&E will be responsible for funding the election, according to City officials.
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