Seeking ‘power’ in various forms

It’s not yet summer, and yet it seems summer’s heat is already on. Unfortunately, we have missed a lot of the rain that has fallen around us. At our house we already have the air conditioning on, and with that the certain knowledge that our utility bills will be going up.

Electric power. That leads me to a discussion of our city utilities. As some of you may be aware, Hillsboro is one of 24 Kansas cities that make up the Kansas Power Pool. The Kansas Power Pool was formed in 2005 as a not-for-profit, quasi-municipal energy agency, comprised strictly of municipal electric utilities.

Some KPP cities have internal electric generation and some do not. Hillsboro is a member city that does not generate our own power. The basic purpose of the KPP is to provide member cities with power generation and transmission services to ensure we have reliable, cost-effective electric power. The organization owns some, and negotiates with other power generation companies, to provide electricity to its membership. Power sources include; coal, hydro, natural gas and wind energy.

As a member of KPP, Hills­boro enjoys the buying power of the combined pool to help keep our electric rates as low as possible. KPP provides other services to its members, such as distribution system assessment, pole testing equipment and utility financial services.

Hillsboro is very well represented at KPP by City Administrator Larry Paine, who is serving as the president of the organization for 2018. We appreciate the positive influence Larry provides to the organization and to Hillsboro’s membership in it.

Motor power. Recently I was approached by a resident who inquired about changing our city ordnance to allow for the legal use of “Special Purpose Vehicles” on the streets of Hillsboro. A “Special Purpose Vehicle” could include ATVs (All-Terrain Vehicles), golf carts, worksite utility vehicles (i.e. Gators) and micro utility vehicles. I have taken the opportunity to ask people about this issue and I received a variety of opinions.

People express concern about age limits, enforcement, vehicle safety as well as some expressing that it may be a safer way for us to get around town. I am putting this into my column this week; I would appreciate additional feedback regarding your interest in this issue.

Project power. As discussed last week, the basketball court project in Memorial Park is proceeding at a good pace. We should soon see concrete poured and basketball goals going up. That said, we have another city project going on and that is our Community Plaza Project. Fundraisers continue to happen and I would specifically invite children and families to participate in the movie events: June Movie Mondays and Saturday Movie Night at the high school auditorium in June.

You can get additional information and sign up at the Hillsboro Recreation Commission website: Admission to the event is free, and funds are raised for the project through the sale of concession tickets.

The Hillsboro Commun­ity Plaza project is in place to create a gathering and event space for the Hillsboro community in our downtown area. It will strengthen and beautify our downtown business corridor and provide an attraction that will bring people of all ages to Hillsboro.

I hope all of you enjoyed a pleasant Memorial Day holiday and took this opportunity to thank our veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice. Let us never forget that our freedom comes at a cost.

God bless you all! – Mayor Lou Thurston