Voters in Minnesota cities reject proposals to abolish public utility commissions

November 6, 2020

by Paul Ciampoli
APPA News Director
November 6, 2020

Voters in the Minnesota cities of Princeton and Shakopee this month rejected proposals that would have abolished public utility commissions in the cities.

In Princeton, city residents rejected a ballot initiative that would have abolished the Princeton Public Utilities Commission and transferred all direct oversight and responsibilities to the Princeton City Council. The ballot initiative was rejected by a vote of 1,102 against and 524 in favor.

The Princeton Public Utilities Commission, appointed by the city council, provides oversight and guidance over all policies, finances, and operations of the city’s utility, Princeton Public Utilities.

Princeton Public Utilities provides electricity and water to a variety of customers both inside and outside of city limits. 

In Shakopee, voters rejected a ballot initiative that called for the elimination of the utilities commission and result in the electric and water utilities being governed directly under the city council. 

A total of 11,794 residents voted against the proposal, while 8,312 residents voted in favor of the proposal.

Shakopee Public Utilities is an independent entity governed by a separate board of five commissioners. These commissioners are appointed by Shakopee’s City Council.

The commission was established by city council on December 12, 1950 and took over the responsibility of the utilities on April 1, 1951.