FLORENCE — The Electricity Department is expected to be given the go-ahead today to go to the bond market to perform more than $6 million of system work.
The City Council will gather at 10 a.m. in a called meeting. They are expected to approve borrowing the money.
Richard Morrissey, manager of the Florence Electricity Department, said the work planned with the money is the result of a 10-year planning review that recommended improvements in the power delivery system.
“We’re building a large delivery-point substation in Lexington for us to take power directly from TVA,” he said. “We can then retire some older, inefficient assets, which means we can reduce some losses.”
The Lexington substation will cost about $3 million, he said.
There also will be a new transmission system anchored in the Zip City area that will improve service to the Florence-Lauderdale Industrial Park and allow maintenance to be performed in the 46 kilovolt line system, he said.
“The lines connecting the substations can be taken down for maintenance,” Morrissey said. “At that level of voltage, they cannot be worked while they are energized.”
Another substation is planned for the industrial park, as well, he said.
This is the first trip to the bond market for the Electricity Department in several years. Morrissey said much of the work that will be done with the money will be to boost capacity and improve efficiency by reducing losses during the transmission process.
The bonds will be repaid with ratepayer money.
Council President Dick Jordan said because both the Electricity Department and the city are in sound financial condition, the interest rate is set at 2.9 percent.
“That is a good interest rate,” he said, “due to the financial condition of the Electricity Department and the city and the good financial management of both. Those things were noted by the bond companies.”
Robert Palmer can be reached at 256-740-5720 or robert.palmer@TimesDaily.com.