Now That’s Dedication!

Joe Campos Retires after 69 years of service with the city of Garden City!


Colby’s New Generator

City of Ottawa is hiring Electric Production Operator I

The City of Ottawa, Kansas is recruiting for an Electric Production Operator I.  The Electric Production Operator I performs duties in the City’s electric generation and purchasing of power. The employee in this position is responsible for maintaining continuous and stable operation of the generators in the plant while monitoring the City’s connections with other electric utility systems and delivering the necessary electrical power to the City of Ottawa’s customers. The Electric Production Operator I will monitor equipment operations for possible malfunctions and take corrective action should a malfunction occur.

Click HERE for more details or to apply for this position.

What does the Future of Energy Look Like?

Is this it? Is this the technology that will take us into the future of energy? A recently announced project in Utah will combine multiple technologies to produce energy free of carbon emissions. Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems has teamed up with Magnum Development to develop The Advanced Clean Energy Storage in Utah. Read more here.

Paula Campbell Set to Retire on June 28th!

Paula Campbell has been with KMEA for over 28 years and is retiring at the end of June.  Paula holds the position of Senior System Operator in our 24 hour operations. She began her employment with KMEA on December 25th, 1990 and her last day will be June 28th, 2019.  We want to Congratulate Paula and wish her a Happy Retirement!!

We thought we would take little time and ask her some questions so we all could know a little more about her before she leaves:

What are you most proud of in your career?

I would say I am most proud that I was able to keep up with an ever-changing industry for all these years.  The electric industry is not for the faint of heart and you must be able to roll with the changes to be successful.  Here’s one example that still makes me laugh:  I told my youngest son, Nathan, back in 2013 that we were having to study and take tests as we prepared for the SPP Integrated Marketplace.  His response was – haven’t you already outgrown having to take tests?

What is something most people don’t know about you?

When I was in high school, I was seriously considering going to college to study to be a psychologist.  I was so intrigued with the human mind and loved reading books that were psychological thrillers and true-life stories about serial killers.  I guess that’s why I enjoy watching Criminal Minds.

Who is/was the most influential person/people in your life?

I would have to say my mom and dad had the most influence on my life.  We were blessed that mom was able to stay home with us while dad traveled 5-6 days a week as a District Sales Manager for a farm equipment company.  Watching how hard my mom worked at home to keep the family in order while dad was on the road providing the financial support taught me the strong work ethic that I took into my adult life.

What was your favorite movie growing up?

Wow – this is a hard one.  Some of my fondest memories come from watching musicals with my mom (it would make my dad and brother head for the outdoors).  I’ll have to say The King and I, Fiddler on the Roof and Sound of Music all hold a special place in my heart.

What is your favorite sports team?

This will have to be team(s) – Kansas Jayhawks (basketball), Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals

What has been your favorite part about working for KMEA?

My favorite part about working for KMEA has been the relationships that I have built with the city personnel over the years.  I feel so blessed to have met so many amazing individuals over the years and those friendships will always remain dear to my heart.  I spent 17 years on call for KMEA and worked very closely with the cities.  It gave me a true appreciation for the power plant personnel and linemen who do what it takes to “keep the lights on” for their municipal customers.

What are your retirement plans?

We are retiring to Lake Havasu City, Arizona to enjoy life in a desert paradise.   Buying a boat so that we can spend our days on the lake is on the top of the list once we get moved.  My husband, John, can hardly wait to spend his days fishing.  We have 5 grown children and 3 grandchildren that we can’t wait to spend more time with.    Best of all – no more snow, ice, tornado’s, lawn mowing or 4:15 a.m. alarm waking us up 😊

Appreciation Dinner

On May 22nd employees of the City of Anthony enjoyed an appreciation dinner. The City of Anthony was the host and Mid-States Energy Works sponsored a dinner to thank the City employees who worked on the Anthony Interconnection Project. The City was able to save a considerable amount of money on the project by providing equipment and labor on various aspects of the project. The food was good and the company was better. Many thanks to the City for a good time!


State-wide Operator Qualification (OQ) Plan is Final!


The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) requires all gas operators to adhere to regulations of the OQ Rule.  Through the OQ Rule operators must develop an OQ Program, establish a covered task list applicable to their gas system, define the training and qualification requirements of personnel performing covered tasks on their pipeline facility, and ensure contractors, excavators and vendors comply with their OQ program.  The Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) performs an annual audit of every municipal’s OQ plan, program, procedures and training.

In 2018, personnel from several municipals and KMGA staff began the effort of creating a state-wide OQ Plan and Program that would meet the requirements of PHMSA and the KCC, as well as bringing municipals together for sharing knowledge, experience, and building relationships.

After many, many meetings and countless hours of reviewing, discussing, revising and modifying of information and procedures, a state-wide OQ Plan has been created.

On Monday, the final plan was provided to all municipals across Kansas that own their natural gas distribution system.  This plan, along with regional training within the OQ groups, are free to all municipal personnel.  For more information or questions regarding the OQ plan and training within the OQ groups please contact Dixie Riedel at 913-660-0230 or

The Kansas Municipal Utilities (KMU) Gas Committee has created a testing and tracking platform that can be used in conjunction with the state-wide OQ Plan.   Regional meetings are being scheduled to discuss all things Gas OQ related. The meetings will include an overview on the Gas OQ standard, information on free regional training sessions that will begin in the fall, KMU’s Online Gas OQ Academy, and the GAS OQ Qualification School Aug 7-9, in McPherson.  For more information on these meetings as well as upcoming training at KMU’s facilty contact Brian Meek at or call (620)241-1423.

Work Continues on New Generation at the City of Colby!

Mike Schmaderer, Mid-States Energy Works discusses the continuing work on new generation in Colby with Rick Carter, City of Colby Electric Utility Director and staff.

The Southwest Power Pool, “Then and Now”

Yesterday 28 people gathered in the City Hall in Garden City to hear a presentation on the Southwest Power Pool. Carl Monroe, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer spoke about the history of the SPP, where we are today and where the future of energy is taking us. Some of the statistics Carl used were astonishing and some were scary. 63,000MW of wind is in the generator interconnection que (not all of which will be built).  The peak load in SPP is just over 50,000MW and we already have 20,000MW installed wind generation. Wind set another penetration record on April 27, 2019 at 67.28%. Carl spoke of the decline of coal energy and the increase in wind, gas and solar power.

Many thanks to Garden City Public Utilities Director Mike Muirhead and the Garden City Public Utilities Advisory Board for hosting this well attended event. Several KMEA members cities attended as well as several members of the KMEA Executive Committee and KMEA staff. It was a great time in Garden City and the pizza wasn’t bad either.

KMGA Welcomes Jamestown!

The newest member of KMGA is the City of Jamestown.  Jamestown will begin taking gas supply on June 1st.  KMGA staff visited Jamestown on May 1st to meet with Jacob Thoman, Director of Utilities, and Jessica Presler, City Clerk, as a new member visit.  Gerry Stephenson reviewed KMGA’s invoicing process.  Dixie Riedel discussed additional services offered by KMGA to member cities.

Welcome Jamestown!