Carey looks into electric overhaul

CAREY It was an electrifying conversation Monday night at the Carey Village Council meeting.

Jeff Pearce, project manager of the GDP Group, was on hand to share with the council an electric utilities study he recently completed.

With Continental Structural Plastics and the new K-12 school building that is to begin construction in the spring, needing more power, in addition to potential future needs of the Arrowhead Industrial Complex, the village has been looking into what would be required to increase the capacity of the village’s electrical system. The plan would not only put in a new substation but replace old equipment as well.

The cost of the proposal is $10 million over the next 10 years. The immediate need of that total is $6.2 million within the next 24 months.

“This is voltage conversion on both ends of town at the same time as the substation (at Continental Structural Plastics),” village administrator Roy Johnson said.

The project would include upgrading the Ogg Street and Waterworks substations.

The cost of the new substation and the pole lines would be about $3.8 million. With the help of the Wyandot County Department of Economic Development, the village will apply for $1.9 million through the U.S. Economic Development Administration Public Works Assistance grant. Johnson said council has a better chance of getting approved if the village has a match for the grant. He said the village has enough funds to make a match.

In the long run, the village is to see some costs recovered through line losses and transmission losses.

“The amount of electricity that is used to heat up the wires to knock the ice off in the winter time, that’s juice that somebody has to pay for,” Johnson said. “In this case, if it’s from the entry point in, we have to pay for us. So putting this higher voltage, lower amperage, could save us a half-million to a million dollars depending on how we convert.”

The council will review the plan over the next two weeks. Johnson said council will revisit the matter at its next board meeting.

Finals readings and approvals for increases for a variety of fees and services were approved. The chief of them was a 20 percent increase in the water rate beginning in April for the next four years. But also approved were increases in deposits, charges for special services, delinquent payments and disconnection fees.

The village will need to run another 650 feet of 6-inch water line to the new school and 350 feet of 12-inch sewer line.

The council had its second reading for the purchase of a new vehicle for Carey Police Department at a cost of $26,435.

Johnson said the village will be looking into the costs of a plow truck, back hoe and vacuum truck as all three are reaching the point where upkeep and years of service are high.

Council also approved the purchase of new soccer goals for the small soccer field at cost of about $1,200.

Due to the President’s Day holiday, the next council meeting will be moved to 7 p.m. Feb. 18.