Nixa sells power transmission line in cost-saving move
Until recently, Nixa was like a lot of towns which own and operate their own power transmission lines. Now the city says putting that power in someone else's hands is the best plan for rate payers.
Quietly snaking across roads and down streets of Nixa, tall utility lines play a big role in the community. Every drop of juice- the electric kind- comes into town through this the towering poles. The City of Nixa says operating and maintaining them is an expensive task, especially considering upcoming federal regulations, and the need to upgrade the system to protect it against cyber threats or other malicious acts.
In a cost-saving move, this city has sold the assets to a company called GridLiance, a Texas-based company that operates transmission lines across the Midwest, south-central, and western states. Starting April 1, the transmission of power to Nixa became this outside company's responsibility.
Doug Colvin of Nixa Public Works, explained, "When we sell, we relieve ourselves of those assets. Obviously, we don't have operations and maintenance expenses for that. So, that will save us a little now. But it will save us more in the future."
The sale will free the city of having to maintain the system while providing money needed for other upgrade projects to the city's power grid- such as additional substations. It would allow the city to take on those projects without having to raise anyone's rates.
The Nixa Public School district is by far the largest non-industrial power customer, and spends close to $1-million a year on utility bills.
"We are about educating students so it is important the lights come on," said Brenda Rantz, the district's Chief Financial Officer. She explains it is important to the district for electric rates not to increase. "Anything that we can do to put more money back into the classrooms, that is a wonderful thing."