JACKSON CENTER — Jackson Center Village Council agreed to move forward with a project that will provide the village with a more efficient and reliable source of electricity during a special meeting Monday.
Council approved an ordinance allowing village Administrator Bruce Metz to apply for a low-interest loan for their proposed new electrical substation. While the current substation is meeting present demands future growth and the fact that much of the equipment is nearing the end of its life expectancy necessitates moving forward with construction of a new substation.
“Passing this ordinance allows us to take the next step in securing the funding to get our project started. We are at a place where we must prepare for the future before problems arise. The new substation will allow us to have several circuits instead of one which will provide more reliable service,” said Metz
Metz noted at present there is only one circuit for the whole village and in the event there is a power outage in one area everyone is affected until repairs can be made. The new design will be subdivided into at least three circuits; one for residential, one for industrial and another for commercial downtown businesses.
“We don’t want our residents to be without power in the event there is a problem at one of the local manufacturing facilities nor do we want the production lines down in manufacturing if there is storm damage or a squirrel or raccoon gets into our power lines in the residential area and causes an outage,” said Metz, who also noted the new substation will allow for future growth and have the capability for expansion as needed.
The new substation will be constructed on a lot currently owned by NK Telco Inc. of New Knoxville where the new cell phone tower was installed along state Route 65 north of Jerry Drive. Jackson Center recently passed an ordinance to authorize the purchase of a small portion of that lot to build the new electrical substation.
“Currently there is a small pole-barn or utility shed on our construction site but NK Telco will be moving it soon to allow the project to begin.” Metz said.
Council then passed the ordinance authorizing the village’s participation with the American Municipal Power Inc. (AMP) to secure the loan for the substation. The loan will be processed through the Ohio Market Access Program (OMAP) and after it is determined all requirements are by the Ohio State Treasurer’s Office the application will then be processed by AMP who is the financial provider.
“We made sure the amount borrowed will be less than $3 million, that way we get a much better interest rate; the State of Ohio’s Treasurer’s office estimated it will take at least five weeks to get the application processed that’s why we need to get moving on this,” Metz said.
Though no start time is set, the completion date for the new substation is scheduled for April 1, 2019.
In other business Council also approved an ordinance authorizing certain adjustments in the 2018 annual appropriations of public funds for the village during the fiscal year ending Dec. 31, 2018. The changes were made to allow the village to pay for services required to install a new emergency stand-by electrical generator at the water treatment plant.
The generator will insure the operation of the water plant in times of power failure as well as being utilized as a tool to curb power usage in time of electrical peak-demands thus keeping power costs at a lower rate for residents and manufacturers year-round.
“We secured the loan from The Peoples Savings and Loan Co. in Jackson Center to purchase the generator from C&J Electric in Anna, Ohio who will also install the generator. The loan is for two years at 3 percent interest and we will make two payments per year. We are going to pour the cement pad and Vectren Energy Delivery will be installing the incoming gas line. After the gas line is plumbed in C&J will install the generator. The project will begin on June first and is expected to be finished by July 1,” Metz said.
Council also heard a report by Metz and village Fiscal Officer Bev Wren concerning the village property and liability insurance.
“At present we are comparing two policies. We must determine which provides the best coverage and what is most cost effective,” Metz said.
Wren provided facts and figures for council to consider and after examining the information it was determined that some questions needed to be answered before moving forward. Metz said he would get the information and get back to council as soon as possible as a decision must be made by June 9.
There will be no village council meeting Monday as the meeting falls on Memorial Day. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be June 11 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.