LOS ANGELES -- By a lopsided margin, voters in Las Cruces, N.M., last week approved a referendum designed to permanently banish an investor-owned utility from their city, replacing it with a newly created municipal utility.

With 65% of ballots cast in favor and 35% opposed, the vote set the stage for the issuance of up to $90 million of tax-exempt revenue bonds to finance the creation of a city-owned utility.

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