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Springfield City Council discusses the economics of power generation

Thomas Clatterbuck

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Electricity, like any utility, is a businesses. Power plants generate electricity and consumers buy it. Those consumers can be the residents and businesses in Springfield, or they can be further afield if the power is sold onto the grid. How much consumers have to pay is determined by how much it costs to generate a unit of power. The problem for the city planners is that no one seems to know how much it costs to generate power.

There are two efforts underway that should help find an answer to this critical question. The city is bringing in an auditing team for the utility itself to see how it is currently conducting business. Tonight, the council also discussed bringing in The Energy Authority Inc. to help create a twenty-year integrated resource plan. This plan will identify which units the city should keep, and how to adapt to the changing energy landscape. Additionally, the plans should help get a handle on the personnel issues, including the numerous unions that represent the workers. Personnel costs are a major factor in the scale and uncertainty of the operational costs.

Getting the utility expenses under control is even more important now that the city has a negative cash flow. This was not unexpected, but still represents a serious problem.

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Senior strategist, statehouse reporter and political correspondent for Springfield Daily. Graduate of District 117 and UIS. Thomas covers stories in both Morgan and Sangamon Counties, as well as statewide politics.

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LIVE | Police and Fire budget workshop presentations

Staff Contributor

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Follow along live with the Springfield City Council budget workshops. The police and fire departments will be highlighting their successes from 2018, and presenting their FY20 budgets.

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LIVE | Springfield City Council Meeting January 15

Staff Contributor

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Follow along live with the Springfield City Council meeting for January 15th. The purchase of several vehicles for the fire department will be discussed.

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LIVE | First Springfield Budget Workshop for FY20

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Follow along live with budget workshop for FY20. This first session will include an overview and then budgets presented by the Treasurer; City Clerk; City Council; Mayor’s Office, and Lincoln Library.

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