Sheldon, Iowa — The City of Sheldon is looking at the possibility of entering into a Franchise Agreement with MidAmerican Energy, and a MidAmerican representative was in Sheldon Thursday to speak at the monthly SCDC Chamber Luncheon.
Mark Reinders is Franchise Manager for MidAmerican Energy, and he explained the potential franchise agreement between the utility and the City. KIWA had a chance to talk with Reinders after the luncheon, and we asked him how, other than the funds generated by a franchise fee, a franchise agreement with MidAmerican would benefit the City of Sheldon.
We asked Reinders what MidAmerican Energy has to gain from a franchise.
He says certain entities could be exempt from paying a franchise fee.
During the City’s budgeting process a franchise agreement with MidAmerican Energy was discussed with the franchise fees collected being used to fund future needs for the Sheldon Emergency Services Departments, SCAT, EMA, Fire, and Police.
If the city and utility enter into a franchise agreement a franchise fee of up to five-percent, the maximum allowed by law, could be added to your MidAmerican bill with that money paid to the City of Sheldon. Reinders noted, however, that Sheldon currently has a one-percent local option sales tax that is collected by the utility. The law does not allow both a local option tax and a franchise fee to be collected on your utility bill, so if a five-percent franchise fee were implemented the actual increase to your bill would be four-percent more than you currently pay.
The City of Sheldon and MidAmerican Energy will be holding a trio of public meetings to allow you to get answers to any questions you may have about a potential franchise agreement. The first is scheduled for Wednesday, April 3rd from 5:30 to 8:00 pm after the regularly scheduled City Council meeting, in Council Chambers. The second will beheld Thursday, April 4th from 5:00 to 7:00 pm at the Sheldon Fire Department,with the final meeting scheduled for noon to 2:00 pm in the 3rd floor meeting room at the Sheldon Community Services Center.