Tallahassee City Commission Discusses Coal Plant, Katrina

The North Florida Power Project is announcing it has purchased a 3,200 acre site in Taylor County.

The question is will Tallahassee be a part of the plan? Voters will decide that this fall.

To that end Wednesday night the City Commission voted on the ballot language for that upcoming coal plant referendum.

It will read this way: "If a majority of the City Commission determines that the North Florida Power Project coal burning power plant will be built in Taylor County, regardless of the city's participation, then shall the City of Tallahassee be allowed to partner in, and derive power from the plant?"

The ballots will be mailed out to Tallahassee voters next month. Tallahassee Utilities officials say by the end of the fiscal year, two weeks from now, city utilities will have spent $25 million more on fuel than was allocated.

Wednesday night, David Byrne with Energy Services asked for and received from the commission $25 million in supplemental funds.

The money will come from the utilities fund, but consumers will ultimately pay the price. Commissioner Lightsey saying this is why the city needs to seek other energy sources such as a coal plant.

Ninety five percent of the city's energy comes from natural gas, and before the coal plant ballot goes out the voters will get an education.

Commissioners are also approving $30,000 to fund an informational campaign, explaining why most of the commission says it makes sense for the city to be a partner in the plant.

Still at Wednesday night's commission meeting, some Hurricane Katrina related news: Fred Flowers and his sister are starting Tallahassee: Americans Caring for Americans, Incorporated.

They'll kick off the organization with a fundraiser this Saturday at Kleman Plaza from ten in the morning to three in the afternoon. They hope to raise $1 million in one month for hurricane relief.