Vidalia joins other cities in support of power plant

Published 3:23 pm Wednesday, November 14, 2012

VIDALIA — The Vidalia city government voiced its support — which will ultimately include a monetary contribution — Tuesday for the construction of a new, more efficient energy plant in South Louisiana.

The Vidalia Board of Aldermen voted to adopt a resolution to work in conjunction with the other Louisiana Electric Power Association municipalities to build a 64-megawatt power plant in Morgan City.

Vidalia Mayor Hyram Copeland said the new plant will be gas-fired, and will ultimately replace older, less efficient coal-fired plants.

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Vidalia’s portion of monetary support will ultimately be determined by how much power the city consumes, Copeland said.

“There will be a bond issued by LEPA, and Vidalia will pay its share of that,” he said.

When the plant is built, all of the LEPA municipalities will have a partial ownership of the facility, Copeland said.

While there is a common misconception that Vidalia owns the Sydney A. Murray Hydroelectric Plant, the city is only a co-licensee of that power generating facility, and still has to buy power off of the grid like all other LEPA municipalities, Copeland said.

“With this new plant, it will fulfill the needs of all the 19 municipalities that belong to LEPA,” he said. “In case we run into a critical need in the future, it will keep us from having a power shortage.”

In other news:

• The aldermen voted to approve a letter of support for a grant process that will eventually used for the funding of a farmer’s market.

The city will build the market space and rent out the spaces, Copeland said.

• The aldermen approved a new ordinance that would disallow the use of fundraising roadblocks in Vidalia’s city limits. Two organizations, Feed the Hungry and the Veterans of Foreign Wars, were granted exceptions for fundraising in the new ordinance.

• Aldermen received bids for a new dump truck.

The first bid was from Scott Truck and Tractor for a $2,600 a month lease for 36 months.

The second bid was from River City Truck for $2,263 a month for 36 months.

The bids, which came with the option to purchase the truck at the end of the lease period, were taken under advisement, Copeland said.