Moran promised cheaper electricity

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Local News

August 7, 2018 - 11:04 AM

MORAN — Moran has cheaper options to consider when it comes time to renew the city’s wholesale electric purchasing contract, City Council members were told Monday.
One such option, offered Monday by the Kansas Municipal Energy Agency, could save the city as much as 40 percent below what it pays wholesale today.
Paul Mahlberg, KMEA general manager, spoke about KMEA’s proposal, which cannot take effect until May 2020 because of Moran’s existing contract with Westar.
Nevertheless, those prices could be locked in now if the city commits to KMEA in the next month or two, Mahlberg said.
He presented Council members with a spreadsheet comparing what the city paid to purchase electricity from Westar — about $400,000 — versus what a similar contract with KMEA would have cost — roughly $256,000.
The numbers average about $53 per megawatt hour. Moran currently pays about $80 per megawatt hour through its contract with Westar, Mahlberg noted.
Westar representatives have reached out to cities such as Moran, and could be in front of the Council as early as September, to give its next proposal, Mayor Phillip Merkel said.
The city was told by Westar in June its next contract  proposal also would be “considerably less.”
Nevertheless, Mahlberg predicted KMEA’s proposal still would be lower.
Council members noted the KMEA proposal, as with Westar, covers only the wholesale electricity cost.
Moran also is assessed a fee to transport the electricity to the city.
Transportation costs should remain unaffected by whichever energy provider the city chooses, Mahlberg said.
Because energy costs can be unpredictable at times, Councilman Jerry Wallis encouraged his fellow Council members to act quickly on the energy contract, even though the existing pact still has 21 months remaining.
“Time can slip away pretty quickly,” Merkel agreed.

COUNCIL members approved, 4-0, the city’s 2019 spending plan, which is supported by a property tax levy of about 38 mills.
To put that figure in dollars and cents, the owner of a $60,000 home will spend a shade more than $262 in property taxes to support the city’s General Fund, about $1.40 more than was paid this year.
The tax figures do not account for other taxing entities, including the county, Allen Community College or Marmaton Valley USD 256.

THE CITY will reach out to Gratz Peters, who owns the 54 Fitness building, to inquire about what needs to be done to repair a malfunctioning air-conditioning unit.
Council members also discussed finding somebody to perform routine maintenance on the exercise equipment.
City Clerk Lori Evans also noted the responsibility of keeping the fitness center clean has fallen on two volunteers. She asked if the city should consider other alternatives, such as hiring somebody.

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