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Power outage has Park City officials on alert

Updated: March 8, 2013 1:15AM

It was a little after one o’clock on a chilly day in late December when the lights suddenly went out at City Hall in Park City.

”It was dark inside the building and our computers went down. We couldn’t get any work done under those conditions until the power was eventually restored,” said Steve Pannell, Park City’s mayor.

But next door, the Park City Police Department was functioning just fine with their emergency generator kicking in and providing power as if nothing was wrong.

Unfortunately, the 35 KW generator was not equipped or wired to extend power to the City Hall facilities in the same building.

Pannell told city aldermen that the unexpected outage caught city personnel by complete surprise. ”Fortunately, the blackout didn’t last too long,” he said.

The city needs to make plans for obtaining emergency power should a future outage occur, Pannell told the City Council last Thursday night.

Two options were presented. One would be to purchase a separate generator for providing emergency power to the City Hall portion of the building. Or a second option would be to rewire the police department’s generator with a device that would provide power to both work areas.

However, it was pointed out that the police generator’s capacity was limited. While it could handle the modest lighting and the staff’s computer-equipment load, it was not equipped to also handle the additional summertime air-conditioning load.

In discussion, aldermen decided they still had six months to address and budget for the air-conditioning needs more fully, but they should immediately seek bids not to exceed $5,000 to make appropriate dual-purpose modifications to the police generator.

The Council also ratified Pannell’s appointment of Fabiola Ortega to the position of 2nd Ward Alderman, replacing Paul Christensen, who recently moved to Waukegan.

In other business, the Council approved the purchase of a $15,624 replacement pump from Metropolitan Pump Company for the Lake Park Lift Station #2, as recommended by Ald. Bud Dennis, who chairs the Water & Sewer Committee.

Dennis said consideration should also be given to future replacement of a pump at the Greenview Lift Station. The item will be placed on the next meeting agenda.

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