100 Years of Public Power

Attica Jason Wyatt CentennialAttica 1958 Photo








At KMEA’s November 5th Annual Conference Awards Banquet, we had the privilege of recognizing the milestone achievements of two member cities. The City of Attica and the City of Erie both reached the Centennial milestone this year, representing 100 years of public power. Attica wished to give credit and thanks to Mr. Harold Bauman who supplied the city with a treasured photo from 1958, featuring city employee, Keith Baringer, and city marshal, Jim Durdin, pictured inside the generator room of the Attica Municipal building.

Jason Wyatt, Attica City Superintendent, was present to accept the centennial plaque at the awards banquet. You can view this photo along with many other conference photos, which are now posted on the KMEA website. The photos are accessible from the home page of the kmea.com website or simply click here to view them.



Gil Hanson and Max Embree Award Recipients

The 2015 Gil Hanson Jr. Outstanding Service Award and Max Embree Distinguished Service Award were presented to two distinguished individuals, Greg DuMars and Duane Banks, respectively. We were honored to present the awards at the recent KMEA Annual Conference and we are privileged to recognize them here.

Greg DuMars receives Gil Hanson Award


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Greg has a long and distinguished record as an exceptional leader with respect to municipal joint action and serving his community, KMEA, and public power. In his 17 years as City Administrator for the City of Lindsborg, Greg has been deeply involved in the planning and design, not only of his city’s electric distribution system, but also the water and wastewater systems and numerous other street and community betterment projects. Greg honorably served as President of KMEA from 2010 – 2015. He currently serves on the KMEA Finance Committee and is the first-ever Chairman of the KMU Advisory Committee. He is viewed by the public power community across the state of Kansas as one of its top leaders and was one of eight winners of the 2015 American Public Power Association Larry Hobart Seven Hats Award.




Duane Banks receives Max Embree Award



Duane has served the city of Russell for 25 years, including nine years as a police officer and the last 16 years working in the Electric department. During his public power career he has held several positions and was promoted to his current position of Electric Utility Director in 2006. Duane has been involved with and has overseen many projects enhancing the city’s ability to serve its customers, including the construction of a natural gas turbine plant, the addition of a new substation, and upgrading three existing substations, just to name a few. Duane has been devoted to serving KMEA and the membership for many years as a member and Officer of the KMEA Executive Committee since 2010. Currently he is the President of the KMEA Executive Committee, Chairman of the Joint Board, and a member of the Power Supply Committee.



KMEA Annual Conference Recap

Ann Conf Photo revLast week, November 5-6, member cities attended the 2015 KMEA Annual Conference in Wichita and according to feedback from many conference goers, it was a successful event. The number of attendees was markedly up from last year, filling the meeting room to capacity. The format of this year’s conference was a departure from the past, bookended by the KMGA and KMEA Board of Directors meetings on day one and a tour of the Siemens Energy Wind turbine assembly facility on day two.

Keynote speaker, Lt. Colonel, Kevin Sweeney, a combat pilot in both Vietnam and Desert Storm, and the recipient of the United States Air Force Distinguished Flying Cross, a medal awarded to fewer than 1% of pilots, kicked off the Conference.   Kevin captivated the audience with his Dessert Storm night combat mission account when he successfully landed a plane with 2 engines ripped off the right wing. Following Kevin was Dennis Grennan, Vice President of HDR, with his presentation “Factors to consider for Owning Generation.” Next up was Paul Zummo, Manager of Policy Research & Analytics with APPA, who presented “Integrating Solar Technology.” Click here to go to the KMEA events site where you can view or download these two presentations. Kansas Municipal Utilities Executive Director, Colin Hansen, concluded the session with a legislative and regulatory update. The day was capped off with a Member appreciation reception and Awards banquet. Look for the Gil Hanson and the Max Embree Award recipients in our next feature. . .

Honoring our Veterans

Veterans Image 2To those of you who served in the U.S. Armed Forces who may be reading this, we want to take this opportunity to recognize, honor, and thank you for your service to our country.

As we approach Veterans Day this Wednesday, and drive through our communities taking notice of the prevalent American flags, the symbol of our freedom; everyone will have an opportunity to reflect on the brave men and women who served our country. Whether it’s someone in your family, a coworker or a neighbor, hopefully each of us will find men and women we can thank for their courage and sacrifice, which provided the freedom we enjoy today. We salute our veterans across the state of Kansas and across our free nation.


Wes Keely Recognized for 40 Years of Service

Keely Winfield.imageWes Keely, Gas Systems operator for the City of Winfield, recently received an award for 40 years of dedicated public service from the League of Kansas Municipalities at an awards luncheon.

Wes’ career in public service is an interesting one to be sure, beginning in Winfield as a policeman in 1975 and then a fireman in 1979 where he spent the next five years. In 1984, Wes started working in the Winfield Gas Distribution Department. Wes continued to progress in the department and was promoted to his current title of gas system operator specialist in 1992.

Wes’ daughter Ray Ann and wife Debbie were on hand to celebrate this momentous occasion with him. Please join us in congratulating Wes on receiving this distinguished award and for his many years of public service. Congratulations Wes!

Mike Muirhead Appointed Vice President of KMEA Executive Committee

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Mike Muirhead, Public Utilities Director for Garden City, was appointed KMEA Executive Committee Vice President at the September 24th Executive Committee meeting. Mike has led Garden City through many improvements since he accepted his position in January of 2010. He was also quick to bring his leadership to KMEA, when he was appointed to the KMEA Executive Committee in 2011 where he continues to serve today, now as Vice President. In addition to his recent officer appointment, Mike is also Chairman of the KMEA Power Supply Committee.

Among his accomplishments in Garden City, Mike was instrumental in the termination of a long standing (high priced) contract with the local electric coop, joining KMEA, and the installation of three 9 MW SGT- 400 Siemens gas turbines. Mike’s career has always been with a Public Power Utility. Mike was the City Administrator in Gillette, Wyoming prior to coming to Garden City.

KMEA Welcomes Kiowa

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The City of Kiowa is the newest member city of KMEA as well as the EMP3 group. Kiowa was first accepted as a member of the EMP3 group at the September 4th EMP3 meeting and then became an official member of KMEA on October 9th.

Kiowa has a population of 1,026 and is located in Barber County, Kansas in the south-central part of the state, about 90 miles southwest of Wichita. Please join us in congratulating and welcoming the City of Kiowa to KMEA and the EMP3 group.

KMGA Annual Conference Breakout Session

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In conjunction with the November 5th KMEA Annual Conference and Board of Directors meetings, KMGA staff will host a breakout session for KMGA cities. The purpose of this session is to discuss the management of your city’s natural gas distribution system. Topics to be addressed include: reviewing KMGA invoices, calculating rates for end-use customers, tracking and reporting data, and management fees. If there are other topics pertaining to your natural gas distribution system that would be of interest to you, please contact Dixie Riedel at Riedel@kmea.com or 913-660-0230. The KMGA breakout session will be held from 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 5th at the DoubleTree by Hilton located at 2098 S. Airport Road in Wichita, Kansas.

Osawatomie to Upgrade their Electric Utility

Osawatomie picThe future looks bright for Osawatomie’s electric utility with the city council’s recent approval to issue $6.8 million in electric utility revenue bonds. The bonds will be used to finance upgrades to the energy generation and distribution system.

The upgrades will really strengthen Osawatomie’s electric utility. The improvements include the purchase of seven two-megawatt diesel-engine generators, construction of a substation as well as a shop building, and repairing and overhauling generators. These improvements will increase Osawatomie’s generation capabilities, generate surplus energy and is expected to bring in additional revenue to the tune of $100,000 to $200,000. It’s always good to see cities like Osawatomie investing in their electric utility.

KMEA Conference around the corner – Register Today!


The KMEA November 5 -6, 2015 Annual Conference is just around the corner. It’s not too late to register! We are kicking off the conference with the KMGA and KMEA Board of Directors meetings, which start on Thursday, November 5th at 10:00 a.m. Registration will run from 8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

We are excited to bring you some great speakers presenting topics you won’t want to miss. Additionally, our keynote speaker this year is decorated combat pilot, Lt. Colonel Kevin Sweeney, the only pilot to successfully land a plane after two of the four engines were completely ripped off the plane while on a combat mission in Desert Storm. This event was recognized as the finest piece of airmanship in the entire Gulf War.

There is still time to register, however, to meet hotel deadlines and finalize conference materials, please be sure to register no later than Friday, October 23rd. You can register by going to the Events tab on the kmea.com website or simply click here to go directly to the conference site, which includes the registration form, conference program and more. We hope to see as many of you as possible, as this year’s conference promises to be a great event.