Dec 16, 2009 9:43 PM by David Ortiviz

Pueblo makes initial pact on $500 million power plant

City leaders are trying to get a new $500 million power plant built in Pueblo.

Black Hills Energy is considering building the plant about 2-miles northwest of the Pueblo Industrial Airport, but the company is also considering other options.

The proposed project could bring up to 40 permanent jobs to Pueblo and up to 1200 construction jobs.

On Monday night city council made a preliminary agreement with Black Hills Energy. Black Hills won't have to pay sales tax during construction or property taxes for the first two years. In return the energy company will pay Pueblo $7.5 million. Also in the future, the city would receive more than $1.5 million in annual property taxes from Black Hills Energy.

"This helps the budget tremendously," said Vera Ortegon, Pueblo City Council President. "Just to get a new injection of property tax to the city of $1.5 to $2 million a year is substantial."

Under the proposed agreement, Black Hills would give Pueblo $4.5 million right away, to help the city balance this year's budget.

City council will take a final vote on the project on December 28. In the meantime, Black Hills Energy must decide if it wants to build in Pueblo or elsewhere.


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