A 1st District judge has scheduled yet another court date in the ongoing battle between Utah Power & Light Co. and the city of Logan over who has the right to provide Utah State University with electrical power.
On Monday, Judge VeNoy Christoffersen scheduled an April 12 court date to decide whether the university followed its own bidding procedures when it decided to end its contract with UP&L and allow the city to provide power to the Logan campus.The city had been scheduled to begin serving USU on April 18. UP&L had been providing the university with power for 50 years.
Attorneys for both sides told the judge they have agreed to start working together on a plan to transfer service in the event the judge rules in the city's favor.
Because both the city and UP&L have said they may appeal the decision, Christoffersen said he does not want to see a situation in which the university is in the middle of the struggle and receives no electricity.
Mayor Newell Daines has claimed that the contract between the university and company is not legal because the utility is operating without a city franchise.
John Ward, UP&L spokesman, has countered that the municipal council denied the utility's request for a franchise in November and until this year, Logan has not had the resources to provide power to USU.
USU President Stanford Cazier said last week that the bids submitted by UP&L and the city were very close but that an opinion from the state attorney general's office said that Logan had a right to provide the power because the school is within the city's boundaries.
UP&L also is providing power to 55 customers in areas recently annexed to the city. If the city wins its battle over service to the university, Ward said UP&L would cut off service to those customers as well as the university.
Blaine Stewart, regional manager for UP&L, said his company has made investment decisions based on serving USU and the additional customers.
"If we no longer provide that service, we will expect a just compensation for our facilities," he said.
Christoffersen said he will schedule a two-day hearing soon to decide how much Logan should pay the company for its equipment.