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The group "Citizens for Affordable Energy" unveiled its petition Thursday that would require City Utilities to wait at least four years before asking for another bond issue to fund a coal-fired power plant. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.
The group Citizens for Affordable Energy unveiled its petition that would require City Utilities to wait at least four years before asking for another bond issue to fund a coal-fired power plant.
The citizens' group must gather more 13 hundred signatures to get the question on the ballot, either in April or June.
Standing outside the C-U building in downtown Springfield Thursday, Lance Wright, chairman of Citizens for Affordable Energy said C-U should listen to voters.
The C-U Board of Directors has not decided for certain whether it will bring back a bond proposal for a coal plant.
But C-U General Manager John Twitty says after much study and deliberation, a coal plant seems the likely choice.
But members of the group Citizens for Affordable Energy say the demand is not as pressing as C-U claims.
They argue that to meet the growing demand, C-U should look at more modest projects that would result in a smaller rate increase.
Lance Wright says voters need to have a say on whether or not its time to go into debt for a coal plant.
Putting off construction of a coal plant is something that C-U officials say will cost customers more in the long term.
C-U General Manager John Twitty says whether it's building small natural gas plants or buying power, rate payers will bear the cost.
And cost is likely to be a large issue for voters.
Linda Chipperfield was outside the C-U building in downtown Springfield gathering signatures for the petition that would put a hold on the coal plant.
She says several C-U customers signed the petition after paying their energy bills.
Also standing outside the C-U building was Russell Strunk.
He was there to show his support FOR the coal fired plant.
Though he lives in Nixa and wouldn't be voting on the issue, he works in Springfield and says energy supply and cost are important to his business.
It's unclear when and if these energy proposals will be on the ballot in Greene County.
The citizens who oppose the coal plant say they'd like their issue to be on the April ballot. The group's chairman will appear before city council next Monday to ask them to take the necessary steps to allow a vote in April...Otherwise it would be on the ballot in June, potentially at the same time as C-U's coal-plant bond issue. But first, the group has to gather enough signatures for the petition to qualify for any ballot.