The city-owned utility that has been providing power to the wastewater treatment plant shared by Pinole and Hercules is likely to have a new owner.
Hercules voters on Tuesday passed , allowing that city to sell the Hercules Municipal Utility. The measure passed with 76.93 percent of the vote, surpassing the required two-thirds majority. The utility had been envisioned as an affordable, reliable source of energy for new development in Hercules, but new construction has all been come to a halt.
The sale of the utility, most likely to PG&E, would come at a time of fiscal distress in Hercules. The transition to a new power provider would take an estimated six months, Pinole Public Works Director Dean Allison said in a 2011 .
Equipment owned by the HMU would have to be purchased by the new provider and voltage adjustments on power delivery could be required.
"You can't just flip a switch," Allison said at the time.
The wastewater plant is funded by ratepayers, not the two cities' respective general fund budgets. The two cities have been working on a needed expansion of the plant and on renewal of its operating permit by water quality regulatory regulating agencies.