Watertown, SD -- Codington Clark Electric Manager Dave Eide is responding to remarks made earlier today on KXLG by State Senator Lee Schoenbeck. Schoenbeck, who is a member of the legislative summer committee attempting to resolve the long standing feud over electrical service territory boundaries, has been critical of the rural electrics for not honoring a law that has been on the books for years allowing municipal electrics to annex territory into a community to enhance economic development. For starters, Eide took issue with comments made by Senator Schoenbeck that the Municipal Utility Electrics were first to become operational in South Dakota dating as far back as the 1800's. Eide says the investor owned utilities were here at the same time as the municipal electrics.
Eide says Codington Clark Electric has no beef over the Terex land annexation saying the land where the new plant is located is within the cities territorial limits. He says Terex is a non-issue and has nothing to do with the proposed change in the law at hand.
Eide also takes issue with Senator Schoenbeck's remarks stating that drawing up an electric service area line isn’t a game of "etch a sketch" and that it involves millions of dollars in investments with thousands of jobs in play. Eide redirected the "etch a sketch" comment back at Schoenbeck.
He also questioned remarks made stating that rural electric rates are higher than municipal electrics.
Eide said they're not against annexation stating that towns and cities can annex all day long. All that rural electrics want is to protect their service territories. Eide also addressed the reliability issue saying a remark by Senator Schoenbeck that rural electrics are 7 times more likely to fail than municipals is wrong. The rural electric manager used his own company to highlight similarities in dependability of service using either rural or municipal power.
Eide says the legislative committee will have to make their decision once all the issues are discussed. From his perspective the fairest resolution would be an all out freeze on territorial boundaries.