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Socorro mayor wants to buy electric coop

Socorro Mayor Ravi Bhasker wants the city to buy out the Socorro Electric Cooperative.

“I am going to go after the Co-op,” Bhasker said.

Bhasker, who is beginning eighth term as mayor, said one of his main efforts will be to dissolve the Co-op “in its entirety, that includes the rural areas.”

The city would provide service to rural areas, he said.

“We’re going to provide them with alternative and cheaper electricity,” Bhasker said.

Bhasker concedes the issue could be decided in court.

Buying out the Co-op was one of the options Bhasker presented to the SEC Board of Trustees at its meeting last July. If the board rejects the buyout offer, Bhasker told The Chieftain at the time, the city was prepared to establish its own electric utility on a limited basis. It would serve users in the industrial park area along Highway 60 and possibly New Mexico Tech.

Bhasker said the users would be assured of reliable service.

Bhasker said the city’s system would cost about $5 million to build, financed through revenue bonds. He said the city could save as much as $1 million in interest and administrative costs.