Members of the Duncan City Council remember 2010’s ice storm well.
In that storm, Duncan Power customers (along with much of Stephens County’s residents) lost electricity for days. Ice on power lines caused power lines and poles to fail throughout the community.
On Tuesday, the city council held a special meeting with Jim McAvoy, chief engineer for the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA), and Duncan Power Director David Yeager to discuss possible upcoming electric upgrades to repair remaining damage from the ice storm and to help prevent a similar situation in the future.
“Our system is old, but it’s well maintained,” City Manager Jim Frieda said. “At some point, we’ll have to take it into account.”
For OMPA’s portion of the meeting, McAvoy talked about things being done outside of Duncan Power to ensure better electric service. Among those items was the construction of a new substation near Cornville, which begins a long series electric lines, leading through Rush Springs down to Duncan.
This substation should be constructed by 2017, and the Power Service of Oklahoma (PSO), who will be building the new substation, already has funding to make this new substation a reality.
McAvoy said there are also discussions to sectionalize the power grids between Cornville and Rush Springs to reduce the number of customers impacted by a downed power line. He said sectionalizing would be determined by the load of a power line and the number of outages on the line.
“It could be an improvement in reliability,” McAvoy said. “Sectionalizing switches are just discussions right now. They don’t have the funding right now. The one at Cornville will happen. They have the funding for that.”
Yeager said the Cornville substation would provide some improvements to the Duncan area, although there are still problems within the city that need to be addressed.
“Improvements are coming through the new Cornville substation, whether we spend any more on the line,” Yeager said. “Things will get better.”
Among the electric concerns within the City of Duncan were leaning and damaged power poles.
“It makes them susceptible to galloping,” Yeager said. “It could make the poles fail.”
Frieda said some of the projects needing to be done in the city will be costly, but they’re projects he feels will move Duncan in a more positive direction, a direction with more reliability in its electric service.
Mayor Gene Brown said it might be better to spend money while the problems aren’t hindering day-to-day operations, instead of reacting to crippling issues.
“We know things are tight,” Brown said. “But we’ve got to spend some money to keep our system working.”
Members of the Duncan City Council remember 2010’s ice storm well.
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County to seek bids for fairgrounds expansion project
Expansion of the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center may get underway as early as this summer.
The Stephens County commissioners, joined by fairgrounds director Mike Anderson, discussed the expansion project during their meeting Monday. The commissioners approved going out for bids to see how much it would cost to build another building the same size as the Expo Arena and to relocate the South Stall Barn south to the outdoor stalls.
Lane suspects back in court Wednesday
The preliminary hearing in the death of Australian native Christopher Lane will continue on Wednesday for three Duncan teenagers charged in the fatal shooting.
The hearing, which began on Feb. 4 but was recessed until Wednesday, will determine if there is sufficient evidence for the cases against the suspects to be taken to trial.
Chancey Allen Luna, 16, and Michael Dewayne Jones, 18 face first-degree murder charges in the Aug. 16, 2013, death of Lane, who shot while jogging in the afternoon at Country Club Road near Twilight Beach.
Vehicle burglars strike seven times
A string of seven car burglaries over the weekend has prompted Duncan police to urge residents to lock up their vehicles and take valuables inside at night.
Four car thefts were reported in Duncan on Sunday and three were reported Saturday, with over $1,000 worth of items and cash stolen from vehicles.
City council to discuss projects, half-cent sales tax
City Manager Jim Frieda hopes to give Duncan City Council members an idea of how much money the city would get from continuation of the city’s half-cent economic development sales tax.
Council members will meet at 5:15 p.m. today in the council chambers at 720 W. Willow.
Infrastructure projects, including street improvements and water conservation efforts, are on the agenda for discussion.
Lt. Gov. Lamb says he’ll look at governorship when Fallin finished
Oklahoma Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb, a Rebublican from Enid, made his formal announcement for re-election this week and made a campaign swing through Stephens County. He stopped by the Duncan Banner last week for a chat with news editor Steve Olafson. Here’s how it went:
Waurika reshuffles City Hall lineup
With the city manager now on administrative leave, members of the Waurika City Commission wanted someone to steer the ship, and they found that person Monday when Brad Scott was hired as acting city manager.
In addition, following a one-hour executive session, the four members of the commission named City Treasurer Nancy Bluml as assistant city manager.
Waurika City Commissioners reinstate Brown
Chuck Brown was somewhat surprised early last week when the Waurika City Commissioners voted to terminate him from the position of city manager.
Brown was very surprised four days later to learn he had been “un-terminated” and restored to the city manager position.
Awards handed out at livestock show
Winners were announced and students walked away vests and plaques at the end of the week-long 76th annual Stephens County Junior Livestock Show, which ended Friday.
Following the award ceremony, the premium sale began as livestock was auctioned off.
Stephens County Fair Board secretary Kathy Shorter said funds for the sale are gathered through the different clubs in support of the students in the competition.
School boards to meet Monday
Bray-Doyle, Central High and Velma-Alma public schools will meet at their respective superintendents’ offices at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
Velma-Alma’s school board will discuss possible re-employment of certified teachers and staff for next school year and possible approval of a senior trip to Medieval Times in May
Today marks beginning of Daylight Savings Time
Daylight Savings Time began in the early hours today as clocks were set forward one hour.
Clocks were skipped ahead from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. and won’t be set back again until Nov. 2 when Daylight Savings Time ends.
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