Additional TVA line will shore up city's electrical grid

March 20, 2013 10:26:01 AM

Carl Smith - [email protected]


Starkville Electric Department General Manager Terry Kemp said Tuesday two power outages are needed this summer to proceed with installing a secondary high-voltage feeder line to the city. 


Currently, Starkville's electricity supplier, the Tennessee Valley Authority, is in the last phase of a $20 million investment which will provide more stability to the city's power grid. 


The additional line will help provide redundancy, thereby preventing outages, Mayor Parker Wiseman said, and will help facilitate growth in the future. 


Kemp told aldermen two power outages are needed this summer to make the line and new switching station on 16 Section Road operational. Those outages - one scheduled for May 19 and another on June 26 - will occur at midnight and should last approximately five hours each. 


The entire city, officials said, has to be without power during the project. Kemp said SED will work with local health care providers and retirement centers to ensure their services can continue during the outage. 


"From our standpoint, we're taking those opportunities to do other work around town," Kemp said. 


In other board business, aldermen approved numerous planning and zoning changes with slight modifications associated with First Baptist Church's request to provide child care services in a Transect 5 (T5) zone. 


After the city adopted form-based codes last year, a portion of the church's property was zoned T5. Places of worship and child care uses are not permitted by right in a T5 district and must request an exception when new construction or substantial modifications are proposed. 


Church officials, according to documents within the city's e-packet, wish to construct a children's building to meet growth needs.  


The board approved construction of a landscape median on Lafayette Street upon church officials proceeding through the design review committee's process. 


Finally, aldermen authorized Golden Triangle Planning and Development District Project Analyst Phyllis Benson and City Clerk Taylor Adams to begin negotiations with two firms for work associated with The Mill development's $8 million parking facility. 


A review team scored Copeland and Johns Inc. (construction manager-advisor) and Dale Partners Architects P.A. (architectural services) as the highest-rated firms who developed project proposals. 


Negotiations will begin to determine a mutually satisfactory contract between both entities for the four-level, 650-space structure. 


Mill developer Mark Castleberry will serve in an advisory role during negotiations. Both firms were already involved with the project's development.

Carl Smith covers Starkville and Oktibbeha County for The Dispatch. Follow him on Twitter @StarkDispatch