A special election is set for Hailey voters on Tuesday, May 21, to decide whether to increase electric utility franchise fees by 2 percent to help pay for maintenance of city infrastructure.

     The ballot measure would increase the monthly franchise fee charged to Idaho Power Co. from 1 percent to 3 percent, an additional cost that would be passed on to Hailey ratepayers.

     The current Idaho Power franchise fee brings in $60,000 per year to the city. If successful, the measure would increase the funding to $180,000 and cost electricity-bill payers an additional $2 per every $100 billed each month.

     The Hailey City Council recently approved the ballot initiative and passed on proposing a property tax increase for a new town square and other city projects.

     According to a memo issued by city staff, after spending $100,000 from a two-year Pathways for People property tax increase, “there are still many sidewalks to fix.”

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