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Steam Plant to Come Down
CT 04 10 18

Demolition of Chillicothe Municipal Utilities' old steam plant, built in 1938, is slated to begin this year. CMU reserve funds have been set aside for the new budget year and more funds are expected the following year to complete the project. "We are seeing a lot of deterioration," Jim Gillilan, CMU general manager, said of the old building, adding that roofing issues are compounding concerns. "We decided that it would be best to be torn down." Asbestos and lead paint likely will be abated this year with actual building demolition taking place during the next budget year. The 2018-19 budget calls for $250,000, with the anticipation of $500,000 the following fiscal year to complete demolition.


CAPTION: Constructed in 1938, the Chillicothe Municipal Utilities steam plant has not been used in more than 10 years. It is scheduled to be razed during the next two years. C-T Photo / Catherine Stortz Ripley

Steam plant usage began to slow after the diesel plant was installed to produce power. The steam plant continued on for several more years, being used only during summer and winter peak times. Coal became outdated, Gillilan said, and was difficult and costly to upkeep and maintain emission standards. "It became cheaper to buy it than produce it," Gillilan said. The facility was fully shut down around 2005.

CMU's 2018-19 budget for the electric, water, waste water, and refuse departments was approved with the city's budget just prior to the start of the new fiscal year, which began April 1. The budget projects overall operating revenues and expenses to be $15,146,970 and $15,201,325, respectively. This includes a 3 percent cost-of-living adjustment on CMU employee salaries. Overall, the budget for all four departments is financially sound with no anticipated rate increases for the upcoming fiscal year, according to Gillilan.

An addition to the steam plant demolition project, the budget includes the following capital expenditure items and other budgetary effects: Capacity Credits were adjusted to reflect the possibility of receiving a lower unit pricing during winter months due to the inability to positively secure natural gas from the gas utility due to their infrastructure constraints. Replacement of the AMI System and acceleration of depreciation for the associated fixed assets that will be retired and disposed of with that project slated for fiscal year 2022-23. This affects the Electric, Water, and Waste Water Departmental detailed budgets beginning with the upcoming fiscal year thru the expected project year.
Purchased Power was budgeted at $72.00 per MW for upcoming fiscal year. The most recent month-end figure for CMU's cost was $71.56, which is anticipated to be a bit lower at year-end. Power costs are not forecasted to rise over the next couple years.

Other Expenses were budgeted with the following anticipated increases organization-wide: Health insurance (for the last 4 months), 5 percent; Pension Expense (Lagers), 1 percent; All other expenses, 1 percent).

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