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Associated Press, Published June 21 2012

Utilities suggest deal to divide service to Kenmare

BISMARCK — Two utilities are asking North Dakota regulators for permission to divide up the electric service territory in the city of Kenmare and its outskirts.

Montana-Dakota Utilities Co. and the Burke-Divide Electric Cooperative both have customers in Kenmare. The northwestern North Dakota community is about 50 miles northwest of Minot.

The utilities have asked the North Dakota Public Service Commission to approve the deal. The commission has opened the matter for public comment.

A number of North Dakota cities have similar agreements between the local stockholder-owned utility and the neighboring rural electric cooperative.

Commissioner Kevin Cramer says the agreements help to head off service territory fights between utilities.

Cramer says they make it easier for utilities to avoid wasteful spending on their electrical distribution networks.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.