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13069 Orono Parkway
P.O. Box 430
Elk River, MN 55330-0430
Phone: 763.441.2020
Fax: 763.441.8099
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On this day in history...ERMU became a municipal utility

Sherburne County Star News
April 13, 1944   
P. 1

Voters of Elk River Favor Public Owned Electric System
Authorized Council to go Into Power and Light Business at Special Election Tuesday

The voters of Elk River decided in favor of a municipally owned electric light business, and have authorized the village council to take necessary steps for acquiring the local distribution line and possibly the power plant.

Less that have the qualified voters of Elk River exercised their right to express their opinion in the matter at the special election Tuesday, a total of 269 ballots being cast, 195 in favor of the proposition and 74 against.  This was more than the necessary two thirds required to carry the proposition.  

Just what the next step of acquiring the local system will be is not known, and is left with the village council.  It is believed most of the voters favor the acquisition of the distribution system alone, if possible and the purchase of electricity on the line from Northern States of the REA.  

The bond  issue is set for a total of $70,000, which is believed large enough to acquire the complete power plant and distribution system if necessary and to make the necessary improvements in the system and the hydro-power dam to maintain the plant and the level of Lake Orono.  

It is understood the REA would still like to negotiate for the purchase of the hydro-plant for use as an auxiliary for its lines and would then be in a position to furnish Elk River with current on the line when the village takes over the distribution system.  The REA would also be able to negotiate to take over the Zimmerman and Dayton franchises.  

Mass Meeting Held Monday
The mass meeting called for Monday night to discuss the issues involved in the special election was well attended, about 100 citizens being present.  The meeting was conducted by Glenn Davidson, Mayor.   

The proposition before the people was explained in an able and thorough manner by R. K. Wilson, chairman of the civic affairs committee of the Commercial Club.  He pointed out the need for the village to take some action at once and urged the voters to give the village council a vote of confidence so that it may go ahead and make the best kind of a deal possible.  

Mayor Davidson read and answered the circular sent out Monday by the local power company, and Leo Scherf, who was formerly on the power commission at Ada, Minn., pointed out the advantages of a municipally owned distribution system in that town.  

Mr. Richardson, power engineer employed by the village council, gave his figures on the actual value of the local power plant and distribution system and the necessity for improvements to the dam, the power plant and the distribution system.  

The meeting was afterwards turned into a round table discussion of the present situation and questions were asked and answered, bringing out the advantages of the municipally owned system.