Contact: Columbia Water & Light
Connie Kacprowicz, Communications & Marketing Supervisor
The community has another month to give their opinions about Columbia Water & Light's proposed electric transmission line project. After the public meeting on November 13, 2012 to review the project, an online survey was made available but only 107 people had responded before the end of year deadline. Feedback is being solicited on which route is most acceptable and whether the lines should be placed overhead or underground. Since only 0.2% of the customer base has given feedback, the utility felt it was important to extend the deadline for comments to February 1, 2013. A letter to all the electric customers is being mailed this week to raise awareness of the project.
An online questionnaire about the electric transmission line project is available at http://tinyurl.com/columbiaelectric. For those that do not have access to a computer, a paper form can be requested by calling 573-874-7325. The feedback form is being limited to one per household. The public's views will be forwarded to the Columbia City Council before the decision is made on the final transmission line route.
Transmission lines in the southern part of the city are being built to reliably deliver electricity to this area and meet federal standards. Transmission lines move energy from where it is generated to substations, which lower the voltage for distribution lines to carry the power to homes and businesses. This project involves adding transmission lines to connect the new Millcreek substation on Peach Court with existing substations. After gathering input from those living in the area, preferred routes for both Option A and Option B have been determined. In addition, another option referred to as B-2, runs a section of transmission lines along existing city property that is parallel to a section of the MKT and Katy trail.
The history of this project along with maps showing the preferred routes for each of the options can be found online at: www.gocolumbiamo.com/WaterandLight/Electric/ProposedElectricTransmission.php.
Advantages and disadvantages of each option, cost estimates of the project and the potential rate impact of installing overhead versus underground lines can be found in the presentation slides from the November public meeting. Construction costs for building overhead lines could increase electric rates for Columbia by 1.2% to 1.5%. Constructing the transmission lines underground could raise rates by 8.9% to 11.5%. Both of these scenarios were based on using voter approved bond funds which are the lowest cost financing option. These estimates do not include easement acquisition.
A copy of the letter to the customers is attached.