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PUD signatures ready to count

Local control of Whidbey Island's energy could soon appear in ballot form, after "People for Yes on Whidbey PUD" present their 2,392 signatures to the Island County Auditor Wednesday, July 2.

If the signatures are approved as valid, the issue will be on the November general election ballot.

At a panel discussion sponsored by the group Wednesday night at Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland, commissioners from PUDs in Whatcom and Skagit counties answered questions from about 80 local residents.

"Most questions centered on costs of setting up a PUD and how much lawyers will cost when PSE starts suing," David Metheny, campaign director of People for Yes on Whidbey PUD said, referring to Puget Sound Energy. PSE would lose its Whidbey Island territory if voters approve creation of a PUD.

There was no clear opposition from the local residents at the Freeland forum, Metheny said, with most attendees there out of curiosity.

In upcoming weeks, there will be three more forums involving PUD commissioners and alternative energy speakers in the north, central and south areas of Whidbey Island.

"We also hope to engage in public dialogue with PSE," Metheny said, adding that he's confident their petition has attracted enough signatures to be valid.

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