Date: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 @ 12:02:07 EST
Topic: LW Utilities

†reprint by permission

"Coakley Was Correct!"

Here we are five years later and the city of Lake Worth now wants to build a 13.2kV electrical distribution system.
Five years ago that was heresy!

Five years ago, William Coakley, then chairman of the Electric Task Force charged with looking into the verity of all things electric in this city, was nearly drawn and quartered by his own task force and certain of the city commission. Lake Worth, like most, abuses its prophets.

That is not to deify Mr. Coakley, but give the man his due now that the new utility director and staff are sprinkling holy water over the 13.2kV as the only home distribution means practical and feasible for Lake Worth.

That system remains the only compatible one with Florida Power & Light and Progress Energy as well as most home delivery systems in the South.

It makes sense now as it made sense five years ago, but the city manager was against it because the utility staff was against it. Coakley stood chin to chin with an electric utility director who had lied on his resume and was not qualified to make such a decision. Coakley challenged his findings and challenged his bonafides. Coakley was right then too.

Now comes the daunting task of making this system dovetail with the money left in the 2004 utility bond issue.
The city has already spent half the funds upgrading the antiquated 4.0kV system to 26.4kV and we have at least $22 million-plus to go.
Utility Director Rebecca Mattey says a plan will be in place to make it as easy as possible on the consumer, and he/she will barely notice the rate increase to fund the new money.

But Lake Worth isnít suffering from sticker shock any more, it has sticker burn over the huge rates. Worse yet, Lake Worthís customers like the Village of Palm Springs doesnít want to play in our yeard any more. In fact, Palm Springs is likely to bolt from agreements with Lake Worth over electric and perhaps even the sub-regional sewer system if possible.

It is doubtful Lake Worth will perform a forensic audit on expenditures on the previous upgrading to 26.4kV system, so rate payers may never really know how much money was thrown down an open storm drain.
Letís hope not too much.

This article comes from Lake Worth Media

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