Mayor appoints committee to support energy center purchase

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 | 6:27 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Mayor Bob McDavid announced Wednesday the appointment of a citizens committee that will encourage passage of a $49.5 million bond issue to purchase the Columbia Energy Center.

The April 5 ballot issue, named Proposition 2, calls for the purchase of shares from Ameren Energy Marketing. The city currently owns 25 percent of the facility, while Ameren owns the rest.

The committee members are: Tom Baumgardner, John Conway, Bill Costello, Ernie Gaeth, Dave Griggs, Bob Hutton, Paul Land, Jim Loveless, Jeff MacLellan, Larry Moore, Tom O’Connor, Melody Parry, Dan Rothery, Vicki Russell and Mary Wilkerson.

“We’re asking for voter support to make sure that we have a stable source of power … something that we own rather than lease from another party," McDavid said in a news release.

The mayor looked to appoint citizens who have credibility in the community, diverse backgrounds and an overall team that will "work well together," Columbia Public Communications Director Toni Messina said.

The Columbia Energy Center supplies energy during high-use periods. The facility also helps meet federal reliability requirements since it has more energy reserved than it expects to use.

Committee member Bob Hutton said the primary goal of the newly-formed committee is to raise awareness in the community and gain support for purchasing the Energy Center.

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