Kahoka Losing $15k Per Month on Electricity, Considers Changes To West Chestnut Street
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By Mike Scott
The City of Kahoka is losing around $15,000 every month as the electric provider for the city.
At the Monday, September 14 city council meeting, city Program Director John Williams explained the situation.
“We last raised our rate in 2016,” Williams said. Prior to that, it had been 2008 when Kahoka had raised its electric rates.
Late in 2018, Ameren, the city’s electric provider, warned that transmission costs, the price of delivering electricity to the city, would double. That meeting was attended by Williams and several aldermen.
Williams explained to the council that he didn’t propose an increase at that time, because he wanted to study its effect over time, and see what the impact of a new contract, which actually lowered the price per kilowatt purchased, would be.
Williams’ study was 15 months long, and included two summers, which are peak usage periods.
“We’re eating $15,000 a month,” reported Williams. “We need to pass that along.”
“We’ve got to do something,” said Alderman Larry Young, “No ifs, ands or buts.”
Williams presented three plans for the city council to consider. The council look at those proposals, and likely make a decision, at a special meeting called for Tuesday, September 22.
The council has also been asked to look into the possibility of making West Chestnut street “one-way” westbound from Jefferson to Cleveland, to alleviate traffic congestion at Black Hawk.
“It’s messy out there,” reported Fire Chief Chris Blomgren. “There is no school bus pickup in town anymore, so there are more cars dropping their kids.”
“On the first day of school, they were backed up the stop sign at the power plant,” added Williams.
“Many years ago, it was one-way between certain hours,” said Mayor Jerry Webber.
Alderman Orlie Yoder asked, “Would this solve the problem, or will there still be lots of congestion?”
The council will review the situation, and discuss it at their next meeting,
Two local residents, Raylene Perry and Lisa Spicer, spoke about the condition of the cemetery.
“I’m very disappointed,” said Perry. “It has not been very well kept this year.” She noted that the mowing crew has bend several memorial.
Spicer asked if the person who was awarded the bid supervises. She added that she witnessed the mower’s “jumping” over ground-level gravestones.
Alderman Joe Roberts reported that there has only been one bidder for the past two seasons.
The council reviewed a bid for repairs needed at the city dump. The ground on the west side needs to be re-sloped due to erosion. The only bid received was for $40,000.
“If we want to save money, Mother Nature will take care of it eventually,” said Alderman Roberts.
Due to the unstable ground, the dump will remain locked except by appointment. The board also discussed the need to post that the dump is for Kahoka residents only, and that no commercial dumping is to be allowed.
Alderman Les Billings request the O-Mak-O-Hak Park be locked at night
“I would like to see us lock the park at night like it used to be. There’s some shady stuff going on,” Billings said. He suggested 9:00pm during the week, and 10:00 on weekends.
Billings also asked if anything could be done in front of the Middle School, where the waterline replacement project tore up Jefferson Street. The board’s consensus was to discuss the issue with W.L. Miller when they are in town to repave several streets.
In other business, the board:
-Set Tuesday, September 22, as a time to meet with an engineer to discuss a filtration system at the water generation plant in Wayland.
-Approved renewing the three percent franchise fee on electrical, cable and telecommunications lines in Kahoka.
-Amended the tax levy approved at the August meeting.
“The numbers from the county were not correct,” said Mayor Webber.
“Since that added more, we lower the rate,” added City Clerk Sandie Hopp. Since the rate was being lowered, a new public rate hearing was not required.
-Mayor Webber reported that he had contacted the state Health Department and the FCC about 5G wireless service. Both report there are no health concerns associated with 5G.
-Trick or Treat Night will be Friday, October 30, in Kahoka.