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Columbia Missourian

Proposition 2 passes, finances purchase of Columbia Energy Center

By Yue Jiang
April 5, 2011 | 10:45 p.m. CDT

What happened? Proposition 2, a $49.5 million bond issue to finance the purchase of the Columbia Energy Center, was overwhelmingly approved Tuesday night.



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Mary Wilkerson, co-chair for the the committee that promoted the bond issue said, "I'm really glad that the citizens of Columbia know the importance of this. It's a long-term solution. It increases our ability to generate energy, especially during the peak time."

Mayor Bob McDavid credited the committee for its work promoting the measure. "They advocated it in an understandable way. It's a complicated issue and it takes a lot of skills to explain this," he said.

How would the city benefit?

Purchasing the energy center would save the city $1 million per year. It would also be used in case of an emergency and would provide energy during the summer, which is the time of the year when it would be used most.

What's next?

The contract between the city and Ameren ends on May 31. During the transaction time, the city needs to continue filing paperwork to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to get the approval for the purchase. 

"Ameren needs to tell us when to start, when to stop and at what level to run the energy center," said Tad Johnsen, Water and Light director. 

Johnsen said the bonds will be issued in mid-May. The city's finance department will determine details for the bond issue.