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2021 Newsletter

 

CITY OF ELLINWOOD NEWSLETTER

AFTER-HOURS & WEEKEND CALLS

Weekday calls after 4:00 p.m. and all weekend calls should be made to (620) 564-2211.  The On-Call employee will take your call and then contact the appropriate personnel for the problem.  This applies to all situations such as water leaks, electrical problems, downed trees, etc.

ATV & GOLF CARTS

City ordinance 2009-10; Code 2015 requires all golf carts to be registered with the City.  Drivers must have a valid driver’s license.  Restricted drivers must be accompanied by an adult.  ATVs and golf carts must be insured and display a slow-moving emblem on the rear of the vehicle. ATVs and golf carts may be operated upon public streets, roads, and alleys within the city limits EXCLUDING areas with a posted speed limit above 30 miles per hour or between sunset and sunrise. 

Remember operator must have a valid driver’s license.

AUTOMATED METER INFRASTRUCTURE (AMI)

 The electric department will be installing new, automated electric meters over the next few months to increase the efficiency and reliability of our electric system.

What is the biggest change?  With the new automated electric meters, the city will be able to read meters remotely.   The AMI meter reading will save us time and labor and reduce safety concerns for city staff. In addition to reducing operational costs, the new meters will help improve the reliability of our system. The new technology allows us to detect problems quickly and locate outages more precisely.  In some cases, we will be able to fix the problem before customers know there is a problem.  The new technology can help us monitor the electric system in almost real-time. 

Soon a customer interface will be designed for customer use on an Apple or Android device.  This will allow the customer to monitor their energy usage from their phone or smart device. The meters, which provide hourly/daily information about power use, will help customers understand how and when they are using electricity.  Armed with this information, the Ellinwood city staff will be in a better position to help customers address billing inquiries.

Additional meter information will be available July 1st on our website or by calling the City Office at 620-564-3161.

BUILDING PERMITS

A building permit is required anytime you improve on your property.  Items include an addition to your home, replacement or installation of a new fence, sidewalk, patio, or small garden shed, to name a few. This also includes the planting of shrubbery and trees on the city right of way located in the front of your home. Plants are not to be placed over city utilities or in places that block driver’s views when nearing the intersection.

FEBRUARY COLD WEATHER COSTS

The winter storm of February with its arctic blast resulted in an extreme impact on electric power providers and natural gas retailers across the middle-United States, including Kansas. The city is a member of the Kansas Power Pool (KPP) and purchases most of our power through the KPP. From Saturday, February 13 through Friday, February 19, the KPP incurred approximately 20 million dollars in extraordinary costs due to the weather event. The KPP Board of Directors acted on March 18 that drastically reduced the immediate impact of the situation to KPP member cities, including the City of Ellinwood. The Board approved accessing the KPP Emergency Stabilization Fund to address the immediate extraordinary costs. The Board deferred most of the energy purchase costs related to the storm to member cities and has established a repayment plan that will be consistent between all 24 member cities. Beginning in March 2021 and continuing for 24 months, the KPP bills to the city will include a “Storm Surcharge” of 1 cent per kWh purchased. It is expected that the reserve funds at the KPP should be replenished to January 2021 levels in 2 years or less.

The city’s portion of the extraordinary costs incurred in February by the KPP was approximately $366,400.00, which was nearly 4 times above a normal bill. The KPP was able to temporarily cover the high bill, which allowed the city council and administration time to consider the effect to the city and ultimately on the electric utility customers.  The city council and administration decided it was best to reduce the impact on our citizens and spread the cost over 24 months rather than passing on the increase in one month.  Therefore, a 1 cent per kilowatt charge has been added to the PCA cost on the utility bills.

The Power Cost Adjustment (PCA) is an extra charge per kWh on every monthly bill to cover the extra costs of either generating our own power when called upon or the fluctuating transmission costs to have power delivered. As a result, most customers will see a slight increase in the PCA costs over the next 24 months, based on kWh usage. For most residential customers this could be $4.00 to $7.00 more per month depending on usage.

OBSTRUCTIONS AT INTERSECTIONS

Plants and shrubbery located on intersections are not to exceed 2 1/2’ above the bottom of the curb or be planted within 10’ of a fire hydrant.  Anything above this height creates a safety issue for motorists and pedestrians.  If you own property at an intersection, please keep an open line of sight for drivers by keeping your shrubbery or flowers below the 2 1/2’ height.

Site Triangle.  An area at a street intersection in which nothing shall be erected, placed, planted, or allowed to grow in such a manner as to materially impede vision between a height of two-and-one-half feet and ten feet above the grades of the bottom of the curb of the intersecting streets, measured from the point of intersection of the centerline of the streets, seventy-five feet in each direction along the centerline of the streets.

PET LICENSING

City ordinance requires all pets to be licensed in the city.  To avoid costly pet impound fees bring in your pet’s proof of rabies vaccination and purchase a pet license for $5.00.  If your pet is found with a registered tag our local law enforcement will be able to bring your pet back home instead of placing it in the City Impound with costs over $40.00 per day.

SIDEWALKS

The city budgets $5,000.00 annually to assist a homeowner with the replacement of old sidewalks or with the installation of new sidewalks. This first come first served grant allows for a 50% cost share of materials; only up to $500 per residence and only frontage sidewalks on city right of way are eligible. There are other guidelines as well. Contact the city office for an application and more details on the program.

SOLID WASTE

Trash containers should be placed on the curb for pick-up; all trash must be placed in the container for collection. Larger items can be scheduled for a special pick-up by calling the city office in advance; additional charges may apply. A second container can be provided for an additional $3.00 per month.

After trash has been collected, please move your container back to your house as soon as possible.  

STORM/FIRE SIRENS

The city has seven storm sirens placed around town. These sirens will sound off with a solid continuous blast lasting for three minutes in the event of a tornado warning. These sirens are tested in this mode every Tuesday at noon during severe weather season. In the past, these sirens were also used for notification to our firefighters there was an emergency call. Due to improved communication; we no longer activate all the sirens in the event of a fire. Only the siren located at the power plant will activate for a fire call cycling up and down three times for a total period of approximately 20 seconds.

WATER QUALITY REPORT

Follow the link below for the 2021 Consumer Confidence Report covering the 2020 calendar year.    Paper copies are also available at Ellinwood City Hall.

https://cityofellinwoodks.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/2021-Consumer-Confidence-Report-Covering-Calendar-Year-2020.pdf

YARD CLIPPINGS

Please do not mow grass clippings into the street gutters.  It is unsightly and once grass clippings wash into our storm sewers; they restrict the drainage of the water runoff.  In times of heavy rain, this contributes to our street flooding.  Leaving grass in the gutter after mowing violates our littering ordinance and a citation may be issued.

YARD NUISANCE & INOPERABLE VEHICLES 

By ordinance, property owners are required to maintain a mowed, clean, and junk-free yard.  Please remove unsightly junk and debris from your property.  Vehicles are also required to be tagged and operable or they must be removed.  Failure to comply will lead to a notice from the city and a possible daily fine if the problem is not resolved.