Garden City residents will see an increase in electric bills

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Telegram
Digital electric meters run for a group of Garden City residences. Electric rates for Garden City residents will see an increase on their bills, from the winter's extreme cold snap as a result of the City Commission voting on Tuesday.

Residents in Garden City will see an increase to their electric bills. 

The Garden City Commission approved a temporary one-cent per kilowatt hour increase at its regular monthly meeting to help pay off the $10.1 million associated with the February 2021, 10-day extreme winter weather event.

Residential customers will see a $7 increase to their bills, for a total of $294 over the next 42 months.

On average monthly residential kWh usage in Garden City is 700 kWh. 

 A low-interest loan was produced through the state of Kansas to cover the costs associated with the event which can be paid back over a 10-year period and can be paid back at any time without penalty. 

It will take about three and a half years to pay back the loan with the one-cent increase, which will generate approximately $2.9 million per year. If additional kWh are sold, it will not take as long to generate that amount of money. 

Aaron Stewart, Garden City Parks and Recreation director. talks to the City Commission at Tuesday's meeting, giving an update to Southeast Park.

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In other business Aaron Stewart, Garden City Parks and Recreation director, gave an update on the Southeast Park future phasing. 

Stewart said the project is moving into Phase 2, which includes trail construction with final grading of the land and some drainage work in the neighborhood and doing everything that can be seen above ground.

"What we'd like to do is get an architect and landscape architect in order to complete the final phases of this project with the idea they're going to bring kind of an artistic approach to you – lighting, buildings so it connects through the park," he said. 

A committee is being formed to review and rank the proposals as to which firm, if any, should be recommended to the Commission to negotiate a contract for services. 

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It will consist of department heads, division supervisors, Parks and Recreation employees, a Parks and Recreation Advisory Board member, a Public Grounds and Tree Board member and a Garden City Commission member.. 

Commissioner Deb Oyler will sit on the committee.

Also at the meeting, amendments to the designated spaces outline in the current Law Enforcement Center agreement were approved. 

Garden City Police Chief Courtney Prewitt said because the Municipal Court and the GCPD Evidence Section are re-locate to 310 N. 7th Street, which was previously occupied by the Garden City Telegram, there will be about 67.5 sq. ft. available at the LEC.

To utilize that space, because the LEC is a county owned building, they have to go through the process of getting permission of how it's divvIed up from both the Garden City Commission and Finney County Commission, Prewitt said. 

"We need more office space, the (Sheriff's Office) need a little bit more room as well, that's kind of why we're doing this, going through the process," he said.