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Utility Plant Open House

By: Liza Park
By: Liza Park

It's Public Power Week, so in recognition of that, the city of Tallahassee invited the public to learn about the power they own and give them some information about the coal plant project.

From high-tech robots and pole climbing demonstrations to plant tours and information booths, the city of Tallahassee utility plant invited folks to their annual open house.

"And this provides an opportunity to show not only city of Tallahassee utilities and what the citizens of Tallahassee own and what serves them, but also to show a variety of other city services," says Electric Utility General Manager Kevin Wailes.

Although there were a number of attractions at the open house, one of the main points of interest was at the tent where they were talking about the coal plant project.

"Our biggest challenge is to communicate to folks that this isn't your grandfather's coal plant. This is a modern technological advanced plant. It's going to have the best available environmental control technology," says Mark McCain, one of the organizers of the proposed coal plant.

And with their graphs and charts and information, organizers of the coal plant project were able to resolve concerns of Tallahassee resident Helen Luke.

Luke stated that her concerns included, "the emissions, what it was going to do to the environment, more mercury for the wildlife, and the smell, smelling coal burning. And he assures me that none of that's going to happen."

Luke also adds that she's probably in favor of the coal plant now, but was definitely against it before she went to the open house.

The city's Web site states that in late October, Tallahassee residents will receive ballots in the mail to decide whether the city should have a say in the design and operation of a coal plant that may be built in Taylor County. Completed ballots will be accepted through November 17.


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