Bob Mills Honored for 37 Years of City Service on May 27th

Bob Mills, Director of Electric Production, is retiring after 37 years of service with the City of Garnett.  A special reception will be held in his honor on Thursday, May 27th, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. at the Garnett Fire Station.  The public is invited to join the City staff during Thursday’s reception to thank Bob for his many years of dedicated service to the Garnett community.

In November of 1984, Bob began his career with the City as a Power Plant Operator.  He was promoted to Acting Assistant Superintendent of the Garnett Power Plant in 1989 and assumed the position of Acting Power Plant Superintendent in 1992.  In 1993, Bob was named Superintendent of the Power Plant.  After receiving his OSHA Certification in 2009, the title of Safety Director was added to his duties.  In March of 2015, Bob was promoted to Director of Electric Production.

The City of Russell is Hiring Power Plant Operator!

The City of Russell is seeking professional and community oriented individuals for a full-time Power Plant Operator position.

The City of Russell offers a very progressive benefit package. Benefits include vacation and sick leave, uniforms, family health insurance, family dental and vision plans, KPERS retirement program, and several other optional benefit programs.

The City of Russell is Hiring Electric Journeyman Lineman!

The City of Russell is seeking professional and community-oriented individuals for a full-time Certified Journeyman Lineman position.

The City of Russell offers a very progressive benefit package. Benefits include vacation and sick leave, uniforms, family health insurance, family dental and vision plans, KPERS retirement program, and several other optional benefit programs.

The City of Russell is Hiring Electric Distribution Superintendent

The City of Russell is seeking professional and community-oriented individuals for a full-time Electric Distribution Superintendent position.

The City of Russell offers a very progressive benefit package. Benefits include vacation and sick leave, uniforms, family health insurance, family dental and vision plans, KPERS retirement program, and several other optional benefit programs.

Back to Normal?

On the heels of the pandemic, the extreme February weather event was not the welcome we all wanted or needed to 2021. We would like to believe that things are moving slowly back to normal for all of us. Every utility throughout the Midwest was affected by Winter Storm Uri. Natural gas and electric utilities were most affected by this unwelcome event and the impact will be felt for years. Unfortunately, the result of this event falls on the shoulders of the rate payers.

Paying Less with Public Power

City of Ottawa Utilities Department Recognized for Reliable Electric Service

The City of Ottawa Utilities Department has received national recognition for achieving exceptional electric reliability in 2020. The recognition comes from the American Public Power Association (APPA), a trade group that represents more than 2,000 not-for-profit, community-owned electric utilities.

Ottawa is Hiring Journey Level Lineman!

The City of Ottawa, Kansas is recruiting for a Journey Level Lineman.  The Journey Level Lineman performs skilled work in the construction and maintenance of the electric distribution system for the City of Ottawa.

KMEA Loaner Equipment

Fluke 1736 Power Logger

The Fluke 1736 Three-phase Power Quality Loggers are versatile, three-phase Fluke Connect-compatible power loggers for conducting energy, load and power quality studies.

Flir E 60 Infrared Camera

The FLIR E60 thermal imager offers one of the most effective ways to keep your facility operating at peak performance, avoid expensive equipment failures, and prevent loss of production capacity.

IML PD-500 Pole Tester

With the IML-RESI PD-Series digital inspection drill you can drill at every height of the pole, from the soil level to the top end of the pole. This provides you with a fast and efficient method of capturing the internal state of the wood. The inspection drill captures the resistance of the wood against a 1/10” bit providing you with an outline of where decay or cavity may be found inside the pole. A general speed for pole inspections is 40 inches per minute, with each drilling typically taking under one minute, the result is a quick capture of the internal state of the wood with an automatic inspection conclusion with our Wood Inspector software. Many utility companies and contractors concentrate on inspecting the regions of concern focusing on the soil level and angling at 30 degrees down at the base level. The PD-Series can also be used in conjunction with timber or tree inspections by turning off the pole inspection software, WoodInspector.

Testo 340

Precise technology: That’s what you want to be able to rely on when you’re working out in the field. But precise technology is nothing if it is not versatile, easy to use and adaptable for use in the field. The testo 340 flue gas analyzer ticks all these boxes.

“The preliminary CO reduction tests that we ran on our two RICE compliant engine catalysts help assure us that the cats are actually still performing as expected and ready for the either three or five year emissions test required by the Federal Government and the State of Kansas.  Even though this test is not a certified test, it does give us some assurance that the units will actually perform as expected in the certified test without cleaning or replacing the catalysts.”

“The Testo 340s proved to be easy to use.  The only readings that we were interested in at the time were carbon monoxide, but these units are also set up to do much more.  Each of the units can test for O2, CO, and SO2 in engines and turbines run on both diesel and natural gas.   Even though we did not try it, the units are also able to send the info to a Bluetooth printer if desired.  The fact that you have two Testo 340s allow both the pre cat and post cat gases to be tested simultaneously or the tools could be loaned to two cities at once and each unit’s probe could be moved between the pre cat and post cat ports to determine reduction performance.”         Jeff Winkler, City of Baldwin City

 

The HVA-2000 is a high voltage digital ammeter designed for taking True RMS AC current measurements up to 2000 amps, 25-500Hz. The HVA can be used on system voltages up to 500kV.

Equipped with the capability of taking spot-load studies at transformers or any mid-span location, as well as phase balance studies on primary or secondary lines, all within accuracy of 1%.

All Equipment is available to Member Cities on a first come first serve basis.  Please contact Gerry Bieker at 913-660-0232 or send email to bieker@kmea.com to inquire about availability or scheduling.

APPA, APGA ask CFTC to investigate high natural gas prices

The American Public Power Association (APPA) and the American Public Gas Association (APGA) have asked the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to launch an investigation to determine whether any potential wrongdoing led to historic natural gas price spikes during Winter Storm Uri last month.

In a March 26 letter to CFTC Acting Chairman Rostin Behnam, APPA and APGA noted that Uri brought snow, ice, and record low temperatures to many states, including those not accustomed to harsh winters and the disruptions that can accompany them.

“Throughout this severe weather, many communities across the U.S. relied on their public gas utilities to maintain delivery of safe, traditionally affordable, and reliable natural gas for use in space and water heating and cooking. Public power utilities likewise worked around the clock to maintain reliable and affordable electric service to their customers,” the letter pointed out.

“Unfortunately, many of these not-for-profit municipal gas and public power utilities, and consequently their customers, were subject to exorbitant price increases throughout the crisis,” the trade groups said in asking the CFTC initiate an investigation to determine whether any potential wrongdoing led to these historic price spikes.

APPA and APGA noted that during Presidents’ Day weekend, natural gas prices, which have hovered around $3/MMBtu in recent years, skyrocketed to upwards of $300/MMBtu and even higher in some cases.

“With demand for natural gas rising in response to the cold temperatures, our members had no choice but to purchase gas at the inflated prices or pay even steeper penalties to ensure their customers could continue to heat their homes or to allow natural gas-fueled electric generation to continue operating,” the trade groups said.

In one case, a municipal utility spent its monthly gas budget each day over that weekend.  In another, a joint action agency expended three times its annual gas purchasing budget just to buy gas for its customers for four days. In southern Kansas, the city of Winfield, a public gas and power system serving a city of 12,300, which normally pays $1.6 million a year for natural gas, “is looking at a February bill of an almost unbelievable sum of nearly $10 million.”

APPA and APGA said that similar stories “abound throughout the Midwest, south-central, and other regions that were most severely impacted by the storm, and have brought into question how many of these communities will be able to purchase needed gas throughout the remainder of the winter, let alone the rest of the year.”

Publicly-owned utilities across the country “are now struggling to pay the bills they incurred, while trying to minimize the impacts to their customers. Some are receiving demands for collateral and margin calls from sellers who are threatening to cut off further gas supplies. Without relief, however, these high prices will be passed directly to their consumers,” the groups said.

APGA and APPA asked that the CFTC evaluate the clearing price of natural gas before, during, and after the cold weather event to determine if prices charged during the period would be considered price gouging or an unfair act and, if so, identify the recipients of unfairly gotten gains in addition to seeking remedies for those negatively impacted.

APGA and APPA noted that their members are locally owned and governed. “They are accountable to their customers, not corporate boards or investors — community support, affordability, and quality service are mandates for these utilities, and they plan accordingly.“

The prices experienced by APPA and APGA members during this event “were unforeseeable, even with such careful planning. Our members are also uniquely concerned with how the market reacted in this emergency because publicly-owned utilities’ rates are set at the local level. Consequently, we believe an objective investigation is warranted.”

The letter was signed by APPA President and CEO Joy Ditto and APGA President and CEO Dave Schryver.

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