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Sidney City Council weighs proposal for new energy substation


The Sidney City Council weighed the decision to create a new energy substation at its meeting Tuesday night that would help ease the city’s needs as growth and construction continues.

The council listened to a proposal by Ken Fairchild of Olsson and Associates to create the that would help with the energy demand for upcoming projects such as the new hospital and the potential for a new elementary school.

Fairchild said he was concerned about Sidney’s two substations ability to to work independently in the case that one failed.

“It’s a compliment to the system you have now and some of the systems that were in place before we got here,” said Fairchild. “It’s marvelous. It’s a great thing for the city.”

With the construction of new housing subdivisions by Cabela’s, the new Sidney Regional Medical Center hospital and a school, the load projection for Sidney should be significantly higher by 2019.

“What you’re expecting for loads by 2019… I’ve been at this for 15 years and I’ve never seen anything this big,” explained Fairchild. “You’re not prepared to handle that load.”

Olsson and Associates will go back to the drawing board and present a new Electric Master Plan to the council that includes an estimated cost and more information pertaining to the logistics surrounding the plan.

Another issue at Tuesday’s meeting was the consideration of an inter-local agreement between the city of Sidney, Cheyenne County and the Sidney Library Board.

The agreement included the continuous funding of the bookmobile – virtually a library on wheels that would service schools in the Cheyenne County area.

“That little kindergartner who is able to come get a book from the bookmobile … You can’t measure that in money,” said a library board representative.

The council voted in favor of the agreement.

There also was a presentation by Baker & Associates to propose combining the landscaping on the corner of 11th Avenue and Old Post Road with landscaping on the pathway.

“I think its worth a shot to combine them,” Jack Baker said. “We have a few options. It’s not difficult to combine the two. The timing becomes an issue. Do we do it now or wait until early spring?”

“I’d just like to get it done,” said Mayor Wendall Gatson, who seemed to share the sentiment of many of the people in the meeting.

Councilman Mark Niehuser made a motion that council approve the project and for it to be bid with the landscaping and two alternates. The motion was passed with all five council members in agreement.

In other action, Kay Hicks and Scott Williams were reappointed to the Historic Preservation Board.

The next city council meeting will be Tuesday, Oct. 28.


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