Electrical service provider issue still remains up in the air

WATERTOWN, S.D. (KWAT) – The South Dakota legislative session begins January 14th. One of the issues lawmakers will tackle this session is an ongoing disagreement between the state’s municipal utilities and rural electric cooperatives over who should be allowed to provide electrical service to customers of newly-annexed areas of a city.

It’s an issue that went to a nine-member summer study committee this year. They’re recommending a compromise that would require regular meetings and good faith negotiations between all utilities involved in electric service territory boundaries in newly annexed areas.

The compromise framework further states that if the utilities cannot negotiate an agreement as to who will serve the newly annexed areas, the Public Utilities Commission would settle the dispute.

For now, Governor Noem will let the Legislature determine where this issue goes.

There are 35 municipal electric systems in South Dakota, including Watertown.