Utility project reflects city growth

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 12, 2002

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The proposed utility expansion for next year is a proactive move rather than reactive, the Troy mayor said.

"We’re planning for the future, not reacting to any problems," said Mayor Jimmy Lunsford. "As you continue to grow, you have to continue to expand your ability to serve so that there will not be any shortages."

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The $4-5 million project will not result with any increased rates for consumers and it will be funded by revenue bonds, which work on pledges made by the city to pay back a percentage of the revenue made by the facility.

The city also received a $1.2 million grant from the Economic Development Agency.

The project involves the building of one substation near the Lagoon that will help serve Troy State, but it will also serve other areas and not just the college.

"Troy State is a huge consumer of electricity, which means they get a big bill every month. [TSU] has been operating off of the one on Elm Street and that has proven to be very burdensome for [the sub station]," Lunsford said.

The actual substation will cost $1.5 million and the power lines will cost a combined amount of $2 million. Each transformer also costs about $500,000 and Lunsford said there area many of them that need to be replaced.

The electricity that the city buys from the Alabama Power Company travels to the substation through major lines and it is then transformed into voltage the city can handle.

There are presently three other substations that serve the city.

"This way, if there is a break in the line, you can service the area in more than one direction. So, if there is a break in the line, it will limit the number of people without power," Lunsford said earlier in the week.

Four years ago, a substation was added on Henderson Highway to help serve the industrial community, which was pulling a "high load of energy."

Consumers are not likely to notice the affects of the new substation, but Lunsford said consumers would have noticed a problem if city officials sat back and watched the city grow without expanding the ability for growth.