The city may be taking on the big guy in its $2 million dispute with Utah Power & Light Co., but city officials say that doesn't mean the little guy should be pushed around.
The city Energy Board was told Tuesday of litigation the city may pursue against UP&L.City Councilman Steve Clark was initially concerned about taking on a large company, but he said it was time for the city to stand up and fight.
Ron Rydman, acting director of the city Energy Department, said that in 1980 Provo bought 6.5 percent of UP&L's Hunter facility, a coal-fired power plant in Emery County.
Since then, Provo has been billed by UP&L as a wholesale customer instead of an owner.
As an owner, the city should not be required to pay for administrative and general expenses in addition to contributions to capital funds, Mayor Joe Jenkins said.
He said a utility accountant, an engineering firm and a Washington law firm hired by the city have reviewed the records and estimate that UP&L owes Provo $1.5 million to $2 million.
But Jenkins said UP&L officials only expect to owe Provo $30,000.
The city, through the Utah Municipal Power Agency, is prepared to file the suit in 4th District Court next week, Jenkins said. Provo owns 80 percent of the power agency, which also includes Spanish Fork, Salem, Nephi, Manti and Levan.
"The amount (of power costs) would go down considerably with the adjustment," Jenkins said. "I think we would be irresponsible to the citizens of Provo if we don't dispute it."