Pittsburg leaders continue exploring option of city-owned electricity

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As the City of Pittsburg continues to explore the option of having their own electric utility, some questionnaires have been sent to residents that could be raising some eyebrows.

City leaders say some residents have come forward saying they have gotten a text from what appears to be Westar Energy on what they would like from their energy supplier. Inquiries on the questionnaire range from how much residents think they should be paying for energy to the qualifications of city staff.

One question on the quiz asks if residents are okay with the city paying between $130 to 150 million for their own energy. And city staff say, while they don’t have a number on how much this project may cost the city, if it costs that much they simply won’t do it.

“If there would be a rate increase if we municipalized, we wouldn’t do it if there was a rate increase,” explained city manager Jay Byers. “We’re not going to do this to raise rates, that is not what we need.”

Byers adds there is much more work to be done before they move forward with building their own utility. Some things they would need to consider would be how much power costs, how much would it cost to buy the power grid for Pittsburg, and how much it would be to no longer be serviced from Westar.

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