Columbia City Council unanimously vote on approving electric revenue bond

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COLUMBIA - A $63 million electric line project will be on the ballot in Columbia.

The city council approved the project and how it will be funded, allowing it to go to the voters in April.

With the current growing capacity of the city, there is a need for additional power. A Columbia Water and Light spokesperson said the city's electric lines are not meeting federal standards. 

With a much needed additional line, Connie Kacprowicz said the city will also need a supporting substation similar to the one built off of Grindstone and Ponderosa. The city wants to build that supporting substation on Peach Way in south Columbia.

Kacprowicz said the city and surrounding areas could see a power outage if the city does not update its electric lines.

Voters will now decide whether the city should take out a revenue bond to pay for the lines. That would raise electric rates by 6 percent over the next 5 years.

Councilwoman Laura Nauser said she has been working on the project since 2005. She said the electric plan is important for everyone not just the area where the substation and lines are going through. 

"It's to ensure through the federal mandates and requirements that our system is reliable so that of there is an outage in one part of our community that it does not have a cascading effect throughout the rest of the community."

Kacprowicz agrees, saying there could be major problems if the community doesn't support the measure.

"It''s such a serious issue the fines are substantial so they can fine you up to a million dollars a day for these types of infactions and we don't want to get to that point where we are up against those fines."

Columbia City Council voted unanimously to put the revenue bond measure on the ballot in April.