A canvass by the Winnesheik County Board of Supervisors today found the vote to authorize the city of Decorah to consider forming its own municipal utility fell 5 votes short.

The canvas added one vote to the election night total May 1st had the measure failing by 4 votes.  The final vote total ended up at 1,385 “No” votes and 1,380 “Yes” votes.

The group Decorah Power supported the effort to create a municipal utility, and spokesperson Emily Neal says they plan to ask for a recount. “We recognize that the auditors office and all the volunteers who worked for the election did a incredible job. But we also understand the principle of democracy — and that an election this close within less than zero-point-one percent — it is just good democratic practice to issue a recount,” Neal says.

Alliant Energy currently supplies the town with electricity and opposed the move to a municipal utility.  Alliant spokesperson Mike Wagner had this reaction following the vote canvass. “Alliant Energy has served Decorah for 100 years and we hope that the results from this election will allows us to continue working with the families, the businesses, elected officials, and many more in the community to help meet this town’s energy goals,” Wagner says.

Winnesheik County Auditor Ben Stienes says anyone wishing for a recount must file a petition in his office Thursday by 5 p.m.

(By Darin Swenson, KDEC, Decorah)