GCS plans to spend now on infrastructure to avoid higher costs in future

By Don Coble don@claytodayonline.com
Posted 9/20/22

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A utility planning manager told Green Cove Springs it has two options to address its antiquated electrical distribution system – pay a little every year or face a huge bill …

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GCS plans to spend now on infrastructure to avoid higher costs in future

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – A utility planning manager told Green Cove Springs it has two options to address its antiquated electrical distribution system – pay a little every year or face a huge bill in the future.

J.D. Bush with Patterson and Dewar Engineers presented to the city council his company’s long-range plan to address the electrical needs of the city during Tuesday night’s meeting.

He said a 20-year plan would accommodate the city’s current and future needs by making necessary fixes now and spreading the costs to maintain equipment for the next two decades.

“When you spend $1 today, you’re not setting yourself up to have to spend additional money next year that you could have prevented or doing something a little different now,” he said.

He said two of three Chapman Transformers are excessive aged and needed repair. He said the city needs an additional transmission line, although he’s not sure where.

“One location that we looked at is on the north end of town,” Bush said. “The other was on Idlewild just east of Governors Creek. Those are two different alternatives. The challenge there is that Florida Power and Light and FMPA (Florida Municipal Power Agency) would have to be involved. There’s a lot of multi-utility planning and involved in that conversation. And transmission line will have to be built one way or the other. And so it’s very well possible that none of those options may be physically possible because of the transmission constraints.”

That new substation will need to be built by 2030, Bush said, and the cost is estimated to be $6,349,840.

Bush said the transformer at the Chapman Substation needs to be replaced in the next year – at a cost of $2,200,438.

The city is facing future demands with 2,100 homes and 260 apartment units on the planning board to be built around Reynolds Industrial Pak at the southern end of the city. Patterson and Dewar estimated the cost to run an underground main line to the new housing development next year to be $2.8 million.

By 2025, the city would need to spend another $1.8 million to replace one circuit on aged power pole coming from Chapman and two circuits on a new set of poles.

Within the next 20 years, it should cost $368,000 to strengthen the feed to the apartment complex and run ties around the sound end of Reynolds Airpark, and it will cost $320,000 to complete the airpark tie 10-to-12 years from now.

Also, the city should expect to pay $4.512 million to convert voltage systems on Harbor Road and the North and South-ends of the city.

By spreading the work over many years, the city won’t get one overwhelming bill down the road. In all, Bush said the city faces $18,765,278 of costs to replace, build and maintain its electrical distribution in the next 20 years.

In other business, the city agreed to increase the millage rate for fiscal year 2023 by 32.12% to raise an additional $2,845,534 in revenues. The new millage rate will be 4.5. Next year’s budget was set at $55,159,694, which is $667,991 less than the current budget.

The city council meets on the first and third Tuesday at 7 p.m. of each month at City Hall.

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