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Letters to the Editor 10-30-2002

Wants buried power lines

Dear Editor:

The last Council meeting I went to was when our mayor and councel members voted to raise our electric rates. I wanted to hear why they thought it was needed. Our mayor said that our electrical utility grid was so old and outdated that the previous summer it was responsible for almost catching several homes on fire and must be updated to not only meet existing load requirements but future needs as well.

Now of course we don't want our homes to burn to the ground, I mean if our local city utility engineers must have for years decided not to design our trasmission lines and buss networks to do no more than what is needed and not to carry future capacity then we surely need to update and upgrade our whole city. And we were told that a study would have to be done so our city government would finally get it right, I just hope they don't use those same engineers who we've been paying for so many years. I didn't like the electric rate increase any more than anyone else does but what are you going to do, install solar panels and a battery bank or go to Lowes and buy a generator?

What I would like to know is what residential areas are in such bad shape that homes could catch on fire and if these areas have already been repaired. The only place I have seen progress on is down our By-pass, of course there are residents in that area and this may be where our mayor was talking about since we do have a huge commercial load in this area. It's a shame those engineers could not look at Wal-Mart and other businesses and come to the conclusion that they may draw a few more amps than a typical home.

I wonder what a city electical engineer's annual salary is? Maybe it was too low for the past 50-60 years and we should increase it so we taxpayers will never have to worry about working all day just to come home and find our house is burned to the ground because the city employees did not know how to do their jobs.

Oh, I noticed that our city government went the extra mile, wait a minute, spent the extra tax dollar, to remove all those nasty unsightly power poles from our square to the soon-to-be new city hall and had all their services direct buried and installed nice lamp posts, and now sidewalks with brick paver inserts. I have to admit that it is aesthetically beautiful. I have no doubt that the new city hall will only be a memory of the old run-down building our children had to go to school in.

Only the best for our local government. I would like to say that when my neighborhood is upgraded in the future that I would like to have direct buried services so my neighborhood looks just as good as what my government gets.

I mean, good for the goose, good for the gander, right? Just think, our city could be the first in our state to have all of our services direct buried and since our city employees are going to be digging up the right of way why not go ahead and put down new sewer and water lines because they have got to be in bad shape and I'm sure that the water engineers make no more than the electical engineers and we can all see where that has led us to.

With an annual budget of $18 million dollars a year maybe it won't be too long before unsightly utility poles are a thing of the past, and fear of coming home to a pile of ashes will no longer haunt the honest working taxpayer. Once the onus of everyday management of the utilities is removed from the city council what will the city council and mayor be doing for our city? When will we see the next financial report for our city?

Thank you,

William W. Moody, Jr.