Electricity generates interest at Council


Electricity – buying, selling and generating – was among the topics discussed during Tuesday's meeting of the Wayne City Council.
Representatives of C.H. Guernsey & Company from Oklahoma City, Okla., presented information on a proposal to conduct a feasibility study on the city's existing power plant.
Bernard A. Cervera with C.H. Guernsey & Company told the Council his firm would look at multiple options in connection with the Wayne plant, including whether or not the city plans to always have a power plant. He provided information on the current engines that the plant has and noted that the newest of these was purchased in 1998, with others dating back to the 1960s.
He also explained the benefits of replacing the city's diesel engines with those powered by natural gas, which is more efficient. The disadvantage to those engines would be how to get natural gas in case of a large power outage. The city has the capability to store enough diesel fuel at the power plant to generate electricity for several days.
He said there are two reasons for a city to have a power plant – reliability of power in case of an emergency and the ability to cap the cost of energy.
Cevera also talked about other projects his firm has worked on and explained that they work to make sure all plants are economically feasible.
Following the presentation, the council voted to approve the proposal from the firm, at a cost not to exceed $28,500, to conduct this study. It is estimated that the work will take approximately two months.
Also approved was a 'Request for Proposal to Purchase Municipal Electric Generation Nameplate Capacity" from C.H. Guernsey & Company. The proposal would allow the city to sell power that has been generated in Wayne.
Council members approved a request to build a concrete wall at the Wayne Transfer Station to allow for the storage of glass containers.
Sandy Brown, representing the Wayne Green Team, told the council that Gill Hauling is no longer able to recycle glass and the glass left at the transfer station is being disposed of with the other trash. She noted that the city of Wayne produces about 80 tons of glass per year.
Brown said her group found a vender in Kansas City that will pick up glass at no charge.
"We found a way to bring glass recycling back to Wayne. If a concrete wall is constructed in the area just south of the Boy Scout trailer, at a cost of less than $1,500, we can store the glass until we have enough for a full load. Then the company will come in and pick it up," Brown said.
Safety concerns were discussed, but it was noted there is a railing in the area where the glass will be deposited.
Resolution 2016-42 was approved on a unanimous vote. It creates an interlocal agreement between the city of Wayne and the Board of Trustees of the Nebraska State Colleges, doing business as Wayne State College.
The agreement allows the college to have police officers provide service for 22 hours a week. This contract has remained the same for a number of years.
In other action, the council approved the appointment of Phil Monahan as Fire Chief for the Wayne Volunteer Fire Department. The department elects a chief on an annual basis and Monahan has been the chief for four years.
Considerable debate was held on city ordinances which would amend the city code in regard to how barking and offensive dogs are handled and the fines for dogs, running at large, are handled.
Police Chief Marlen Chinn told the council that his department has had 40 calls within the last six months in regard to barking dogs, often involving the same dogs.
Several council members questioned the amount of the fines for subsequent offenses in both bark dogs and dogs at large. The fees are being increased to $25 for a first offense (which is waiverable, meaning no court appearance is necessary); $100 for the second offense and $200 for third or subsequent offense.
Council member Jennifer Sievers said in the case of dog at large, she would like to see the offense be dropped from the owner's record after a given period, such as 24 months. However, council members did not include that option in the ordinance.
The council will next meet in regular session on Tuesday, June 7 at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers.