On the evening of Thursday, October 24th, the city of Osawatomie began experiencing troubles at the power plant substation. After a full diagnosis of the problem, it was determined that the substation transformer was damaged, and a replacement was needed. With the cooperation of city staff and KMEA/Mid-States a replacement transformer was located in Garden City. To meet the urgent need, the City of Garden City quickly approved the sale of the transformer and began efforts to load and transport it to Osawatomie Thursday evening.
“The leadership shown by the City of Osawatomie to reach out and the responsiveness of the City of Garden City’s Electric Department staff is a testament to the value of the public power community, in general, and, more specifically, it is a testament to the value of being a member of KMEA.” Says Matt Allen, City Manager, Garden City.
According to Osawatomie’s City Manager Bret Glendening, the oversized load permit for travel at night was obtained in approximately 4 hours, which has to be at, or near a record to allow for legal transport of the 70,000 lb. load.
The transformer arrived in Osawatomie around 8 am on Friday morning. Work began immediately, preparing a new gravel road to get the transformer up an 11% grade to its permanent location. With the coordinated work of the city, KMEA Mid-States, and Bardroff Heavy Hauling, the transformer was positioned, hooked up, and delivering power to the affected 300 meters by 12:30 am on Saturday. In the worst case some customers were without power for seventy-six hours.
“Without the fast work of city employees, KMEA, and Garden City, the situation likely would have lasted much longer. The cooperation between municipal utilities and the strong connections and expertise from KMEA Mid-States was paramount in the completion of this emergency project” says Glendening.