Electric authority charter amendment goes to full council

Two Kaua’i residents yesterday thanked the Kaua’i County Council’s Energy and Public Safety Committee for sending to the full council for a vote a charter amendment proposal authorizing the council to create an electric power authority.

The power authority could operate Kauai Electric if the proposed $215 million purchase of Kauai Electric by the Kaua’i Island Utility Co-op is not given final approval by the state Public Utilities Commission.

In that case, the county could still negotiate for the purchase of the utility, buy it and operate it, county officials said.

On a motion by Councilman Randal Valenciano to move the measure to the full council for a vote, Kaua’i resident Richard Stauber said: “Thank you, Thank you.”

Kapa’a resident Glenn Mickens said action by the full council in the future would “be a great asset to the entire community.”

Valenciano said there would be more time for discussion by the council and the public before the final vote is taken.

If the council approves the charter amendment proposal, it would be put on the November general election ballot for vote by residents.

County representatives said the measure, if approved by voters, is a “backup” in the event the sale of the utility between Citizens Communications Company and KIUC fails.

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