Tampa franchise agreement with TECO still far away

10/23/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Thursday | Listen to this entire show:

This long discussed issue of a franchise agreement between the city of Tampa and Tampa Electric Co. was discussed at the Tampa City Council today. But, again, no resolution was reached.

Negotiations between the city and TECO have been ongoing for more than three years. Attorney Tom Cloud said an important negotiating point for the city was to increase the current franchise fee with TECO.

A number of muncipalities across the country and 35 in Florida produce their own power. Councilman John Dingfelder expressed concern that the long-term agreement would prevent Tampa from ever being able to produce its own power.

The public weighed in on the TECO franchise agreement.

Developer Darren Booth was critical of TECO’s performance as the city's energy provider. Saying he’s lived around the world and experienced a lot, he blasted the local power company.

Lisa Montelione said Tampa should ape what progressive cities, like Santa Monica, have done with their franchise agreements.

Phil Compton from the Sierra Club said TECO lags far behind many other power companies in the U.S. in its reliance on fossil fuels. He says that’s relevant when it comes to global warming.

Despite talk about TECO including more renewable energy sources in its portfolio, Tampa City Attorney Chip Fletcher said the city was not the agency that could mandate what type of energy TECO produces.

Several times during the council’s meeting today, Councilman Charlie Miranda boasted about his conservation ways with both power and water. He expressed frustration that the agreement had taken so long to come to fruition, and said individuals need to take care of their own homes.

Later, TECO’s Tom Hernandez and Councilman John Dingfelder got into a spirited give and take about the power company creating a separate agreement on renewables.

The City Council will hold a public hearing on the TECO franchise agreement Nov. 7 at 6:30 p.m.

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Development Mgr

Correction: The public hearing is tonight, November 6th at 6:30pm