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The Prescott City Council meeting for Feb. 13, 2023 opened with the Pledge of Allegiance.

City Attorney Burton Harding was unable to attend because his wife is ill.

Karen Springer gave the food pantry report. She remains grateful for all the volunteer help and donations of food. Jake Prettyman from Fulton donated 100 pounds of food. Curt and Dusty Laderer donated 23 dozen eggs. Mary Jo Minue donated 71 pounds of food. Dan Rice, a fireman from Overland Park donated six cases of bread they had been given because they did not want it to spoil. Springer said she didn’t want what she’d been given to go bad either, so she shared it with others also, such as Concern up in Mound City. The food pantry did not actually give out food from Commodities in January, although they did have some to give out the first week in February. According to the Commodities personnel, that will be the last distribution until May because their warehouses are almost empty and a dollar does not buy as much as it did a couple years ago.

In old business, Tyson McGreer, a manager of member services from the Kansas Municipal Energy Agency came to the meeting. KMEA is the cooperative that supplies Prescott City with its electrical power. He brought paperwork for Mayor Kevin Wood and City Clerk Kathy Wood to sign for the next step in continuing the application to join the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA). WAPA is the government run hydro-electric system from dams in Colorado that will supplement Prescott’s electrical needs. Their prices are very consistent and relatively inexpensive.

McGreer asked for, and received a motion that the city officials sign the paperwork. The motion passed unanimously.

Mr. McGreer also brought with him a plaque that he presented to the council. The plaque read:

Commemorating 100 years of Municipal Electric Service To Honor the Community Visionaries Who Founded the City’s Electric Utility in 1921; Presented to the City of Prescott by the KEMA 2021.

 He apologized for the delay in the presentation of the plaque. Because of the covid panic, KMEA has been unable to hold their usual annual conferences.

 While he was there, he graciously answered some questions from the council members. The council learned there are three or four WAPA hydroelectric power stations in Colorado, but also one in Wyoming. Also, KMEA owns part of two windmill farms in Kansas; one northwest of Hays (which is on I-70) and a second one in northeastern Kansas. They are considering buying a part of a solar farm which is being built near Wichita. Since KMEA is such a large cooperative, it would be faster for them to recover the initial investment than it would be for an individual installing a solar system, though not as fast as people in California who have to pay 30 to 40 cents per kilowatt hour. Here in Kansas, we are closer to eight cents per hour and the price is starting to come down, which is good, because two years ago, prices were only two and three cents per kilowatt hour. He said an advantage of solar power is that solar panels tend to last a little longer than windmills. A typical solar power contract will for 30 years, a good five, or even 10 years longer than the usual wind power contract. Also, the sun shines a lot in the afternoon when many people want to use power. Winds frequently blow when there is little to no demand for power. Another big problem with wind is transmitting the power generated by the wind, say in western Kansas, to where people are in eastern Kansas, who want to use the power. Technology is getting better. Transmission of wind power is better than it used to be.

For other old business there was a little discussion on how expensive stones for the “Welcome to Prescott” are going to be and a tiny bit of discussion on whether rates for renting city properties should go up or not before the council went on to new business.

Mayor Wood said if a date could be set for Coal Center Day, he could start getting a band ready. Last year Coal Center Day was September 24th. After consulting a calendar, the council decided that this year it could be on September 23, which would leave the last Saturday in September, the 30th, free for having a citywide garage sale. A motion was made and passed unanimously to celebrate Coal Center Day on September 23, 2023.

Then for the City Superintendent, Kathy Wood reported there have been a lot of problems with the sewer system. Several of the council members had noticed this and a suggestion was made that perhaps the drought last year led to tree roots hunting water wherever they could, including sewer pipes. 

As City Clerk, Kathy Wood reminded everyone that the Woods will be out of town from February 24th to March 6th. Maggie Griffith will be in the office to replace her. She added that unfortunately the new computer that was ordered by the November 14, 2022 city council meeting to take care of the new water meter readings was shattered somehow during delivery by FedEx so another one had to be ordered. She currently has two computers going at once, but she hopes to be able to finish installing the new software soon to get the water meter program up and ready to run.

A motion was made and passed that after the current contract on the old city hall expires the rent should be raised by $50.

Wood reported that in the past month she received the Ad Valorem tax money from the county, the franchise money from Atmos energy, and an unexpected $67 from someone paying back taxes came in for the library.


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