The city commissioners of Enid, Okla., voted to buy the portion of the electric distribution system of Oklahoma Gas and Electric Co. located within city limits, in agreement with a buy-out clause contained in the franchise agreement between the utility and the city.
The city's 25-year franchise agreement with Oklahoma Gas & Electric will expire in June 1998, but Enid must notify the utility one year in advance if it wants to terminate the agreement. Although Enid residents must vote to approve a renewal of the franchise, the commissioners may buy out Oklahoma Gas & Electric without a vote.
Oklahoma Gas & Electric believes most city residents oppose the buy out. Residents who oppose the city's entrance into the electric business obtained about 4,700 signatures on a petition to force an election on whether to renew the franchise. The city's attorney refused to accept the petition, asserting it went beyond the intentions of such petitions. The petitioners said they intend to file an appeal.
If Enid moves forward with the buy out, another dispute over the valuation of the Oklahoma Gas and Electric system may emerge. Oklahoma Gas and Electric has valued the system at $110 million. Enid places the value somewhere between $35 million and $45 million.
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