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|02-19-03: Councilors begin process to back power plant
|By LANCE MIHM
The Daily Standard
MINSTER - Minster village councilors gave tentative approval Tuesday to
participate in the development of a coal-fired power generation facility.
Councilors held first reading of an ordinance authorizing
participation, but only matter making some changes to the original recommendation by
AMP-Ohio. The changes were made after hearing a presentation on cost and services
presented by consultant Jim Courtney, of Courtney and Associates of Uniontown, Pa.
AMP-Ohio suggested the village plan to purchase about eight megawatts
of power annually from the power plant, which is half of the power used in the village
"You don't want to rely on half your power coming from one
place," Courtney told councilors. "There is too much that can happen."
Courtney said planning on about 20 percent of its power from the
proposed new plant was more optimal, and council agreed on expecting three megawatts of
power from the facility.
Courtney also told councilors current revenue would be insufficient if
the village wanted to participate in the new coal-fired plant. Projected revenues during
the next three years are about 5 percent less than needed.
As a result, councilors decided to increase electric rates. Industrial
customers will see larger increases than residential customers. It will be the first
increase Minster residents have had on their electric bill since 1986.
The plant is estimated to cost from $2.6 million to $3 million to
develop and will serve any of the 88 AMP-Ohio communities choosing to participate. Each
community will decide whether to participate or not.
Construction is expected to begin in September 2005 and take four
years. If the Minster ordinance passes on final reading, the village will pay about
$15,000 during a two-year period to pay for its share of the development phase of the
Also the meeting, a contract for the 2003 water line replacement program was
awarded to Chuck Samples General Contracting Inc. in Celina for $278,000.
A total of six bids were receiv-ed, with all but one coming in under
the $329,000 engineer's estimate. The project will include re-placement of portions of
line on North Hanover and Fifth streets as well as a line at the wastewater treatment
plant for replacement. The old four-inch lines will be replaced with eight- to 10-inch
ductile iron lines. Also, a six-inch line running from Centennial Park to the water
treatment plant will be replaced. That line has had constant repairs and patchwork.
Councilors briefly discussed a letter that each council member received
from a group against the building of any gambling establishment in Botkins.
"They want to get a response from surrounding communities,"
village secretary John Stechschulte said. "They want to hear from us whether we are
pro or con to the idea."
In other business, the council:
- Approved an ordinance authorizing the village administrator to spend
up to $1,000 on indigent burials.
- Approved the purchase of a speed monitoring sign from Sun Labs in
Uniontown, Pa., for $7,300. A $2,200 grant from the Herkenhoff trust fund will help pay
for the sign.
- Authorized Harrod to search for a vehicle through the state
purchasing program for the village administrator.
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