February 21, 2024
An SDG&E crew works on an influence pole. Photograph courtesy of the corporate

Metropolis Legal professional Mara Elliott introduced Wednesday {that a} lawsuit threatening to overturn town’s estimated $3 billion franchise settlement with San Diego Fuel & Electrical has failed following a choice by Superior Court docket Decide Katherine Bacal.

The determination within the case of The Defend Our Communities Basis vs Metropolis of San Diego discovered the metropolis abided by acceptable aggressive bidding processes and won’t be required to re-bid the settlement. 

Elliott mentioned the judgment vindicates town’s place that the settlement with San Diego Fuel & Electrical was lawfully negotiated and confirms the franchise charges are usually not taxes. 

“That is an especially constructive end result for San Diego taxpayers,” mentioned Elliott. “This lawsuit threatened to create a large gap within the metropolis’s finances to the detriment of those that dwell in our metropolis. Franchise income is important to fixing streets and sidewalks, working parks and libraries, and in any other case guaranteeing metropolis operations.” 

Underneath the phrases of the franchise settlement accepted by the San Diego Metropolis Council in June 2021, town will obtain roughly $130 million per yr in franchise charges for the remaining time period of the franchise, for an estimated $3 billion. 

The metropolis additionally receives $30 million to assist advance its local weather fairness objectives. In return, town grants SDG&E unique use of public rights of manner for transmission and distribution of electrical energy and fuel, in addition to the appropriate to put in and preserve wires, poles, energy strains and underground fuel and electrical strains.

Decide Bacal’s determination provides town larger flexibility if SDG&E fails to adjust to the phrases, in line with metropolis lawyer’s workplace.