City council approves electrical rate hike
As expected, the Baldwin City Council approved a pair of 6 percent electrical rate increases at Monday’s meeting.
“When will these take effect?” asked Council President Ted Brecheisen Jr.
“July 1, so residents will see it on their August bill,” said City Administrator Jeff Dingman.
But that’s only the first of the increases. The second 6 percent rate hike takes effect July 1, 2011. The measure passed by a 4-0 margin. Council Member Tom Farmer was absent. Council Member Robin Bayer also warned that the matter could be revisited if it’s found that the rate increase isn’t enough.
From there, the electrical talk turned to Monday’s brief two-second outage. Rick Croucher of the electrical department explained that it was a result of a previous lightning strike that had cracked an insulator. Moisture in the air Monday got in and the insulator exploded, he said, knocking out one of the breakers.
“We had a blink in the system,” said Croucher. “It happens. It’s Mother Nature taking her own course.”
He said he had to order the part and it will be two weeks before it arrives. Until then, the power supply is being handled by three breakers.
There was a second outage Tuesday that lasted a little bit longer, but not much. It was not related to the insulator or breaker. It was a problem with the city’s power provider, KCPL, said Dingman.
“It was a lightning strike on the KCPL line from Gardner,” he said. “All equipment worked properly and power was restored automatically.”
There wasn’t much else to Monday’s meeting, which lasted only about 20 minutes. Mayor Ken Wagner read off the upcoming schedule of city meetings and an event scheduled for 1 p.m. June 27 at the fire station to celebrate the 100th year of the Baldwin City Volunteer Fire Department.
“I’d encourage people in the community and on the council to come out and support this,” said Wagner.