Since 1942 Lubbock has been served by two power companies: Lubbock Power and Light and XCel Energy. Mayor Tom Martin announced this morning that that arrangement will soon be coming to an end.
The City of Lubbock and LP&L struck an $87 million deal today with XCel Energy.
The principal: LP&L will acquire all of the power distribution systems from XCel. That means that all of the power poles, transformers, and wires that crisscross the City of Lubbock will become the sole property of LP&L.
XCel energy has promised that none of their employees will lose their jobs as a result of this deal, and LP&L has promised that utility rates will not rise as a result of the deal.
The motivation behind the plan is all about downtown redevelopment.
The City of Lubbock plans to consolidate and streamline what it calls an inefficient two-company system. It will take the dual sets of wires and poles down, reinstall them underground, and expand the downtown area with plenty of open space overhead.
Former mayor Mark Macdougal heads up the revitalization campaign for the downtown area. He says this is step one towards a better downtown.
"This is going to give downtown Lubbock a chance to get redeveloped. With the grid system that you have in downtown Lubbock the number of streets and the number of alleys and the number of poles....it just doesn't work. The areas of redevelopment are too small," McDougal said.