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The City of Metropolis, in partnership with the Illinois Municipal Utilities Association (IMUA), is again offering a scholarship competition program for eligible high school seniors. Each eligible applicant is asked to submit an application and an essay of 500 words or less addressing their choice of one of four utility-related questions.

The top four vote-getters in this year's essay competition will receive a finalist certificate and a $1000 scholarship award check from IMUA. A winner from the City of Metropolis will also receive a $2000 scholarship from the City of Metropolis.

Applicants must be high school seniors whose parents or legal guardians are residential customers of the City of Metropolis municipal utility.

According to Billy McDaniel, mayor for the City of Metropolis, the program has a dual purpose: first, to promote and recognize scholastic achievement; and, second to create greater awareness among young adults of the many issues facing consumers and public power municipalities today.

"Today's energy providers, including municipally-owned and operated utilities, face a myriad of economic, environmental and other challenges which warrant creative and innovative solutions," McDaniel said. "Creating a greater awareness of these issues among tomorrow's leaders can be the first step in helping to determine effective, long-term solutions, both now and into the future," he added.

"Since its inception in 2000, IMUA's scholarship program has proven to be a very popular and successful program for IMUA, its members and the communities they serve," said Kevin M. Gaden, president & CEO of the IMUA. "Public power communities offer their customers a number of cost, efficiency, service and other advantages compared to those served by other energy providers. IMUA's scholarship program is another example of how municipally-owned and operated utility systems can help return value to their communities while at the same time, provide a measure of financial assistance and support to those students who wish to pursue a college education," said Gaden.

Since it began, the program has awarded more than $47,000 to 88 students from 29 different IMUA member communities statewide.

Organized in 1948, IMUA is a statewide trade association, which represents the unified interests of, and provides services to, 50 municipalities, which operate their own electric, natural gas, telecommunications, water and wastewater treatment systems.

The deadline for submitting applications and essays is Friday, March 6. Applicants may contact IMUA's DeeDee Bunch at 217-789-4632 or dbunch@imea.org for more information.

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