Enjoy The View!

As much as I detest Mayor Mommy over in Dallas, her antics usually don’t directly affect me.  But now I see that she’s managed to pass on $12 million in costs from her pet Trinity River project on to the rest of us.

Electric ratepayers in Fort Worth and elsewhere will get stuck with part of the bill for a tourism and economic development project in Dallas under a regulatory decision Thursday that could open the door for similarly expensive charges from other cities.

On a 2-1 vote, the Texas Public Utility Commission agreed to take more than $12 million in construction costs for the burial of a new power line near downtown Dallas and pass those costs on to ratepayers statewide.

Dallas requested the burial so the power line wouldn’t detract from the look of the $1.4 billion Trinity River Corridor Project. The 0.7-mile line is to run parallel to Canada Drive on the south shore of the Trinity River.

How lovely.  I guess I’ll have to go down and have a look at this Trinity River project when it’s done, since it’s now going to be included in my electric bill.

Transmission service is the only part of the state’s electric system that remains strictly under PUC control. The agency authorizes utilities to charge ratepayers for the cost of new transmission lines, but typically only for projects that help make the power grid safe and reliable.

In this case, however, Dallas has argued that the new transmission line would be too ugly. The extra cost for burying it is estimated at about $17 million, although the Dallas City Council voted this week to pick up 25 percent of the eventual cost.

Too ugly!  Typical wasteful spendthrift nonsense. 

But check this “logic:”

PUC Chairman Paul Hudson, who along with Commissioner Barry Smitherman voted to support the request from Dallas, noted Thursday that Dallas residents had already agreed to take on more than $400 million in debt for the project.

That’s nice of them.  But that was strictly within the purview of the voters in the City of Dallas.  We could debate whether it was a good idea or not, but it only affected Dallas.  Now they’re passing their costs on to the rest of us. 

I understand that there’s lots of pork out there, and that this sort of thing goes on all the time, but I’m going to be cursing about this crap every time I pay my huge electric bills this coming summer. 

I hope the people in Dallas, and Mayor Mommy in particular, enjoy the view.  Meanwhile, we sweating suburban shmucks will be paying the bill.

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