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SIEA to begin collecting Walsenburg franchise fee

WALSENBURG — San Isabel Electric Association, Inc. (SIEA) is eager to continue serving the City of Walsenburg. SIEA’s Board of Directors renewed its franchise fee contract with the city for an additional 25 years at the March board meeting. The renewed contract includes a change with the franchise fee, as requested by the City of Walsenburg. The franchise fee is not a SIEA charge, but a fee collected on behalf of the city. The franchise fee will be implemented with the March 26 billing, which members will receive the beginning of April. Currently, the City of Walsenburg has a franchise fee consisting of $1.09 (residential accounts), regardless of the amount of the bill. The new franchise fee, which is collected for the City of Walsenburg, will change to THREE PERCENT of a member’s monthly bill. Members have the ability to view their franchise fee on their monthly bills. The fee is entitled “Franchise Tax” and can be located on the bill under “Readings.” A franchise fee is a payment that helps support the city in which a member resides in. “The

funds received from the franchise fee will supplement the city’s General Fund and will provide additional revenue for the city’s streets, parks, police and administrative services,” said Mayor James P. Eccher. The City of Walsenburg is not the only town that requires a franchise fee of SIEA; in fact many cities such as Pueblo, Rye, and La Veta also require a franchise fee. SIEA has been keeping the lights on since 1938. SIEA is a member-owned, non-profit utility serving nearly 19,000 members and 24,000 meters. The cooperative is excited to continue lighting the lives of its members in the City of Walsenburg for another 25 years.