Tallahassee Will Participate in New Power Plant Plan

Wednesday night the City of Tallahassee Commission voted to become a partner in the project.

While discussing the possibility of joining the North Florida Power Project, the City of Tallahassee Commission meeting got pretty heated at times from both sides of the dais.

Debbie Lightsey, City of Tallahassee Commissioner, says, "You don't have to tell me anything about coal. I'm from West Virginia. My grandfather and all his brothers worked the mines. I know more about coal than you people."

During this meeting the commissioners took the time to explain their position on energy diversification via a coal plant and to ask questions.

Andrew Gillum, City of Tallahassee Commissioner, said, "What are the guarantees that if we moved in this direction that it is going to be more affordable?"

Mayor John Marks added, "We need to look at other options."

Many citizens from Tallahassee and Taylor County begged the commission to not join the partnership with three other electric utilities who are planning to build an 800 mega watt coal burning plant somewhere in north Florida, possibly in Taylor County.
But most of the board supported joining the partnership.

Mark Mustian, City of Tallahassee Commissioner, said, "Every shred of evidence I have seen indicates this plant will be built in Taylor County whether we participate in it or not."

But one commissioner doesn't support the plan.

Allan Katz said, "I was originally in favor of this project."

The city says it is only obligated up to the point of construction and it won't spend more than $6.4 million during this first phase.

The commission also voted to set a referendum to find out what voters want in terms of participating in the North Florida Power Plant.