The completion of the gas and electric utilities sale today was an event of great significance in our city’s history. Reaching this conclusion took over a year of effort from all the entities involved. Our city attorney, city administrators, and city staff spent an enormous amount of time facilitating this transaction. I want to thank them for their professionalism and vital contributions to this process.
I also want to acknowledge the contributions of our energy department director Adam Ferre and his staff in building up and maintaining these gas and electric systems from the inception of the city to now, making them a desirable asset for purchase. We wish them well in their new positions with Questar Gas and Rocky Mountain Power.
The sale of the utilities had been discussed within the City many times over the years. Until now, the right circumstances had not occurred to move forward with a sale. We understand there are some who are not in favor. After putting it to a vote last November with the result of over 73% of residents approving the sale, we feel we have honored the wishes of the majority of residents, as well as doing what we feel is best for the city long-term. We are confident that Questar Gas and Rocky Mountain Power will provide Eagle Mountain City residents with a high standard of service.
You are probably aware that the sale of the utilities was delayed beyond the original date we expected to close on. As a result of this delay, the utility bill received in March from the City will have an additional two weeks of usage included. While weather during this final billing period was unseasonably mild, we acknowledge that some residents will still see a higher bill. It is for this reason that we will make all appropriate efforts to accommodate customers should you need to spread out the payments in order to manage the bill. We had made every possible effort to complete the sale of the utilities at an earlier date in order to prevent this impact. Unfortunately the delay was beyond our control, and we regret the inconvenience or hardship this may cause. We are fully prepared to work out payment plans with any residents that need assistance if there is a financial burden caused by the extra two weeks of energy consumption on this bill.
With the sale now complete, we will briefly turn our focus to making sure the transition is executed well and that we have addressed all impacts within our organization. We are also beginning the process of identifying ways in which a small portion of the funds will be spent to make a meaningful impact on our community and quality of life. The money that was received from the sale of the utilities belongs to the residents and we will exercise careful stewardship of those funds and provide a clear plan for how those funds will be utilized before moving forward. We thank you for your patience with this process and we look forward to what the future holds for Eagle Mountain. Did I mention that we just paid off over $26,000,000 in debt? We are firmly on the path to operating from a position of financial strength, and our future is exciting.