The Colorado Court of Appeals has upheld a district court decision, affirming the City of Delta's right to provide electrical services in territory previously served by Delta-Montrose Electric Association.
The issue arose in September 2012, when Maverik contacted DMEA about plans to build a convenience store at the corner of Highway 50 and Highway 92. A service station and convenience store had previously been located on that site, with electrical service provided by DMEA, although the 21-acre parcel had been annexed into the city in 2006.
Maverik paid a $150 deposit to DMEA, but a short time later notified DMEA that it had decided to obtain service from the city instead.
According to court documents, DMEA filed action seeking damages and declaratory relief. DMEA claims, in part, that it is owed compensation under state statute.
The city filed a motion to dismiss DMEA's claims, asserting that a municipality operating its own electric utility has a right to compete with a cooperative for service to customers in annexed territories. The district court agreed, and DMEA appealed.
The appeals court cited case law which makes it clear that a municipality may compete with a public utility for "new" customers without having to compensate the utility.
DMEA responded with the following comment, emailed to the DCI Tuesday morning:
"DMEA respectfully disagrees with and is disappointed by the recent Colorado Court of Appeals decision in DMEA v. City of Delta. We are working with our attorneys at Holland & Hart to assess our options and next steps. We believe that longstanding Colorado law requires compensation to electric cooperatives like DMEA in precisely situations such as what exists with the City of Delta."
The election results are in at the local, state and national level, and as expected, Democrats are doing well in state and national races. Colorado has elected Jared Polis as governor; nationally the Republicans appear to retain control of the Senate while Democrats now control the House of Representative.
With a ballot full of local and state measures, voter turnout in Delta County topped 71%, with 15,889 ballots cast. Statewide, voter turnout was just over 52%.
Of the three Delta County residents seeking state offices, Matt Soper won over Thea Chase in State Representative Dist. 54; Mike Mason lost to Julie McCluskie in State Representative Dist. 61; and Olen Lund lost to Kerry Donovan in State Senate Dist. 5.
Locally, in the City of Delta voters rejected a .5% sales tax increase to fund recreation, as well as recreational marijuana sales. The sale of medical marijuana and cultivation/manufacturing facilities was approved by a slim margin. Delta voters also gave the city the green light to move forward with selling or trading the Cottonwood and Riverbend Park, and to sell the old Municipal Light and Power Building.