Marion City Council considering connection with Kansas Power Pool

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Marion City Council members will be weighing the pros and cons of staying with its current electricity supplier or change to another source after reviewing the situation at its Feb. 23 meeting.

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Marion High School FFA officers (from left) Ryan Jones, sentinel, Louis Holt, reporter, and Mark Kukuk, president, read a proclamation at the Monday, Feb. 23, Marion City Council meeting, asking the council to approve Feb. 21-28 as FFA Week in Marion. The councilors approved the proclamation and told the students FFA is a ?great organization and especially with emphasis in farming.? Listening at right is Councilor Steve Smith.

 

The city has a contract with Westar Energy until July 2010, said David Mayfield, city administrator.

He recommended the councilors consider switching to the Kansas Power Pool, which would be the alternative supplier.

Even before Marion can make the switch permanently, a study is required to make sure the city has the capabilities to receive electricity from KPP transmission and delivery lines.

?The study,? Mayfield said, ?cannot be done until the city becomes a member of the pool.?

The KPP study would cost about $1,150.

Mayfield said this is somewhat of an urgent matter because the study takes about one year, which cuts close to Westar Energy?s renewal deadline.

?There is a catch if we join KPP, and that is we would need to buy a meter for $15,000,? Mayfield said. ?This is real-time metering, though, which would let us know how much power is being used.?

One of the reasons Mayfield is recommending the KPP over Westar has to do with longevity of the contract.

Westar, he said, will only do a 30-year contract and has the authority to increase costs as much as 30 percent.

The councilors plan to look at information provided by Mayfield and others, and take action at the Monday, March 2, regular meeting of the council.

In other business:

n Mark Kukuk, Marion High School FFA president, Ryan Jones, sentinel, and Louis Holt, reporter, asked the city to be involved in the national effort to proclaim Feb. 21-28 as FFA week by signing the document.

The organization promotes leadership, personal growth and career success among its members.

In addition to the city?s acknowledgement honoring FFA Week, Holt said the group had planned an auction and ag olympics for later in the week.

n Doug Kjellin, economic development director, Mayfield and Casey Case were in Topeka Thursday, Feb. 19, to attend insurance meetings for municipalities.

Mayfield said he thought the conference provided good information.

?Several key points were recognized and we may better protect the assets of our city,? Kjellin said.

Kjellin reported that he went to a meeting designed to determine the state?s economic development agency regarding long-range business incentive packages to lure businesses to Kansas.

He also attended the Biz Expo in Newton, saying that some 30 exhibitors were there covering a variety of businesses.

n Margo Yates, director of the Chamber of Commerce, reported on tourism and the recreation commission.

She said baseball and softball registration is beginning. Soccer registration will be after Marion public schools? spring break.

Yates said there has also been discussion on whether the swim team might expand that Marion has an indoor pool.

Other activities coming up included summer theater, golf, gymnastics, dance classes and a Fathers? Day event at Marion Municipal Airport.

The day is being promoted as a community event.

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