Mayor Names Citizens Committee To Support Energy Center Ballot Issue
COLUMBIA - Mayor Bob McDavid today announced the appointment of a citizens committee formed to support passage of a $49.5 million bond issue to purchase the Columbia Energy Center. Located on Peabody Road, near the city landfill, the center's natural gas-fired units can generate up to 144 megawatts of energy.
Details on the group's organizational meeting will be released as soon as they are available.
Committee members include: Tom Baumgardner, John Conway, Bill Costello, Ernie Gaeth, Dave Griggs, Bob Hutton, Paul Land, Jim Loveless, Jeff MacLellan, Larry Moore, Tom O'Connor, Melody Parry, Dan Rothery, Vicki Russell and Mary Wilkerson.
"The issue is called 'Proposition 2'," McDavid said. "We're asking for voter support to make sure that we have a stable source of power...something that we own rather than lease from another party. Purchasing the energy center will not cause an electric rate increase, and we expect to save about $1 million per year in utility operating costs."
The Columbia Energy Center is connected to Columbia's transmission system and currently supplies energy during high-use periods. It also helps meet federal reliability requirements that the utility has more energy reserved than it expects to use.
The city owns a portion of the plant, originally built by Ameren Energy Marketing. Voter approval would allow the city to have full ownership.