Decision pays off during summer's extreme heat
by Terra Temple, Planet Reporter
Jul 11, 2012 | 709 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
As bad as the current weeks' temperatures have been — averaging anywhere from 98 to 110 degrees, or 10 to 15 degrees above normal, on most afternoons, according to the Southern Illinois Weather Observatory — they could have been worse if a decision went a different direction last year.

"As elected officials, we often have to make difficult choices — usually there are no clear right or wrong decisions and most of the time we don’t know for several months, or even years, if we made the right decision," Mayor Billy McDaniel read from a prepared statement during Monday's Metropolis City Council meeting. "Every now and then though, we do get to see the positive results of tough decisions."

It began in December 2011 when members of the Metropolis City Council were looking at ways to fill a $1.7 million budget shortfall. Among the suggestions was that the city's electric conversion project be suspended until finances improve. But after learning that was not a feasible alternative — for three specific reasons: 1) the first phase of the project was more than half way done, 2) the project was $1 million-plus under budget and 3) the project's key goal of replacing the city's the outdated 40-year-old transformers that were a part of the West substation, the 4 kV power system serving Wards 1 and 4 and the business part of Ward 2 — the council decided to continue the project, providing a more reliable and efficient source of power.

During Monday night's meeting, the council learned why that was a good decision.

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