Public Works Board reviews solar energy agreement

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The regular session of the Marshall Board of Public Works convened Thursday morning, July 16.

General Manager Kyle Gibbs brought before the board an update on an Interconnect Agreement between the city and MC Power to begin construction on a solar energy project in Marshall. Gibbs said that upon some changes being made to the agreement, the board would need to submit a request to the City Council to move forward. The board voted to request that the City Council authorize the mayor to sign the agreement.

Administrative Services Director Ken Gieringer updated the board on an issue where two electrical meters at a multiple residential rental property had been mislabeled as to which meter controlled which apartment. The mislabeling led to residents paying each other's electrical bills over an extended period of time. Gieringer affirmed that the party who had been over-billed as a result had been compensated for the mistake. The board discussed the possibility of seeking back payment on bills from the party who had been undercharged. According to the unofficial minutes of the meeting, only one other incident like this had occurred in the past 10 years.

On the issue, Gibbs stated that in the past, the board's policy has always been to seek payment in the corrected amounts.

"We have generally always tried to collect under-billed payments," Gibbs said. "That's been the board's policy as long as I've been here."

Board Vice President Spencer Fricke voiced concerns about seeking back payment.

"You pay your bills in good faith, they ought to be paid," Fricke said.

The board's official position on the issue will be decided at their next regular meeting scheduled for Thursday, July 30.

Electric Distribution Director Jeff Bergstrom brought before the board a sample of a LED area light. The lights cost the same as the current sodium fixtures, but consume 80 percent fewer watts of electricity. The new LED lights will be tested in the field before the board decides whether or not to replace the sodium fixtures with LED fixtures.

"More than likely we will switch to these type of fixtures," Bergstrom said.

Underground Facilities Director Monty Chase updated the board on ongoing efforts to relocate the Central Missouri AgriService water and gas lines. He stated that work to relocate the water line has started, but progress has been slow due to wet weather, while the gas line relocation is moving along well. Chase said the plan is to shut the gas line off Tuesday morning, July 21, and hope to have it back in service by Wednesday night, July 22.

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