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Franchise Fee Ordinance Enacted by County Commission


The Bernalillo County Commission approved changes to the Taxpayer Protection and Right-of-Way ordinance allowing the county to enter into franchise fee agreements with the gas and electric utilities serving Bernalillo County.

This ordinance ratifies an agreement negotiated between the county and New Mexico Gas Company (NMGC) and the Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) that establishes a grant of franchise to NMGC and PNM and grants consideration for the use of the county’s rights of ways, and settles litigation regarding the validity of the county’s Right of Way Ordinance.

Actualized monies for the county will be $3-million per year.

“These ordinances allow taxpayers to recover a small percentage of the costs to the county when utilities locate in our public rights of way,” says County Commission Chair Maggie Hart Stebbins. “The county has spent five years litigating and negotiating these agreements that finally bring Bernalillo County in line with other local governments that have been recovering those costs for decades.”

The $3 million has been earmarked for Public Works, Operations and Maintenance Department which will use the monies to maintain rights of way.

The ordinance passed on a 4 to 1 vote with Commissioner Lonnie Talbert dissenting.

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