Quick Shorts (Updated 2/18)

New OVERNIGHT Travel Policy

The Independence City City is considering (2/19) a new overnight travel policy for Council members in response to public reports of excessive and questionable travel by a City Council member mostly to energy-related conferences.
The City Management Analyst produced a report which noted inconsistent policies for approving overnight trips by City Council members commenting that trips are “a privilege and not right.” The report said what is learned should be shared because it “encourages travelers to attend conference sessions, instead of using the trip as a free vacation.”

IPL STAFFING

Over 10% of all hourly IPL positions are currently vacant based on a recent report to the Public Utilities Advisory Board. The largest number of unfilled budgeted positions is in power production with 12.8 unfilled positions. The total number of budgeted positions is 228.

New Management

The city hired Brenda Hampton to become the IPL General Manager. She has extensive background in electric utilities and was selected based on a national search. She is leaving as Director of Regulatory Policy at the Texas-based Vistra Energy. She holds a Master of Science in Engineering Management from the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Electric Vehicles

The City Council settled on purchasing 10 electric vehicles for use by city staff, primarily by staff working in the city’s Community Development department. The city will borrow funds from Independence Power and Light to make the purchase and will pay the money with interest. A vendor to install electric charging station has also been selected.

Master Energy Plan

The City Council also appears reading to take action on recommendations included in a recent master energy plan. Almost every energy option recommended retiring the city-owned and operated 98 MW Blue Valley generating plant located on Truman Road. Options to replace the lost generating capacity including retaining existing combustion turbines and increasing the city’s ownership interest in the natural gas Dogwood Plant located in Pleasant Hill. Blue Valley generated less than 2% of the city’s total energy needs in 2016.