The Russell City Council met Tuesday and approved a bid from IES Commercial for electric system upgrades for the two east residential circuits to include upgrading the two circuits and replacing poles, conductors and transformers.
According to City staff, the City’s electric service area includes the City proper and approximately 50 square miles of rural service area primarily located south of the City. City crews regularly perform maintenance and upgrades on the City’s electric distribution system to increase system reliability. City crews built an alternate 34.5 kilovolt distribution line from the Homer substation in the south to the main plant to complete the alternate 34.5 kV loop. The 34.5 kV project included substations two and four upgrades with an additional transformer and switches added at the main plant.
Because of the age of the distribution system, City staff recommended and the Council previously approved development of a multiyear plan to upgrade the electric distribution system within the City proper. The upgrade, completed in phases, is expected to take 10 years to allow for adequate planning, design and funding. The Council approved a Master Services Agreement with Kansas Municipal Energy Agency and Mid-States to work with the City on this project.
The first project task, completed in December 2021, was a complete inventory of all distribution system assets, needed to better aid in the engineer’s design and eventual staking of circuits. From this information, staff worked with KMEA, Mid-States and RMA Engineering to develop the multiyear plan and priorities. The east residential one and two circuits were selected as the first priority.
On February 15, 2022, the Council was asked to approve a task order to the Master Services Agreement with KMEA and Mid-States for engineering, procurement and bidding for the circuits.
Construction bids were let with a due date of October 9, 2023. The City received three bids and the low bid was $2,109,533.65 from IES Commercial Inc. of Holdredge, Nebraska.
The City issued an addendum to the request for bids stating the construction start time is estimated to be March 2024 as the City has not received all transformers. The contractor can start earlier if the materials are received before March. The time of completion is March 31, 2025.
Also Tuesday, the Council discussed additional generation for the electric utility with no action taken.
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