PRINEVILLE, OR -- Prineville's Facebook and Apple data centers bring millions of dollars to the community through electrical franchise fees. Estimates for 2019 show, for the first time, those fee revenues will actually surpass what will be collected in property taxes.
Steve Forrester, Prineville's City Administrator, says before the tech giants came to town, the average power consumption was 10 to 12 watts. "With the data centers coming on board, their power consumptive rate is higher than that, many times higher than that, so what we've seen over the last eight or so years is incremental growth in our franchise fee revenue for electricity increase rather dramatically." He tells KBND News, "Our incremental growth in franchise fees is around $2 million. So, we're getting $2 million dollars more than we would if the data centers were not here."
The expected $2.4 million in franchise fees the city will collect this year makes up about 6% of the city's total operating budget. "It just has put the city on very, very strong financial foundation," says Forrester. "We have money in our bank account for savings, for unexpected costs that may come up, so our financial condition is very, very strong as a result." He says the money is also used for public safety, street improvements and reducing debt.