Janklow proclaims Public Power Week

Janklow proclaims Public Power Week South Dakota Governor Bill Janklow issued an executive proclamation Aug. 31, declaring the week of Oct. 3-9 Public Power Week in South Dakota.

Janklow's proclamation recognizes the benefits brought to 34 South Dakota communities that have chosen to operate community-owned, locally controlled, not-for-profit electric utilities. These communities are Arlington, Aurora, Badger, Beresford, Big Stone City, Brookings, Bryant, Burke, Colman, Elk Point, Estelline, Faith, Flandreau, Fort Pierre, Groton, Hecla, Howard, Langford, Madison, McLaughlin, Miller, Onida, Parker, Pickstown, Pierre, Plankinton, Sioux Falls, Tyndall, Vermillion, Volga, Watertown, Wessington Springs, White and Winner.

These communities provide reliable, low-cost electric service to nearly 100,000 citizens, almost one in seven South Dakotans. All 34 municipal electric utility communities are members of the South Dakota Municipal Electric Association, which will hold its annual meeting in conjunction with the Municipal League's Annual Conference in Rapid City Oct. 5-8.

Vermillion Light & Power will recognize Public Power Week with a Customer Appreciation Day on Tuesday, Oct. 5. Lunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The open house and gift registration will be open to customers starting at 9 a.m. until 3:45 p.m. Stop by to meet the employees and learn more about your public power provider.

Public Power Week is a program created by the Washington, D.C. based American Public Power Association to enhance recognition of municipal electric systems and their benefits. Each year, during the first full week of October, over 2,000 public power communities across the nation celebrate the benefits of community ownership of their municipal utility. Local ownership of a community's electric utility means that utility decisions are made for the benefit of the people and businesses of the community. Municipal utilities are governed by their city council or utility board located in their community and accountable through local elections. Unlike the big power companies, these electric utilities operate on a not-for-profit basis, setting electricity rates to cover all costs.

Janklow also is active in the Governor's Public Power Alliance, a bipartisan organization of seven of the nation's governors who believe federal initiatives on restructuring the electric industry should not disadvantage the millions of consumers served by locally and consumer-owned electric utilities. The Alliance also believes that the cornerstone of federal policy should be a commitment to respect state and local decision-making.

The governors are concerned that consumers served by public power may be overlooked in federal legislative and regulatory proposals. The Alliance recognizes that while the more than 2,000 publicly owned electric utilities and more than 900 rural electric cooperatives are small when compared with the nation's 240 investor-owned electric companies, they provide services to one-quarter of America's electric customers.

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