Columbia County Board of Supervisors member Nancy Long addressed the City of Lodi Common Council on Tuesday, May 18, and shared some concerns.
The impending closure of the Columbia Energy Center near Portage topped the list, as Long reported the county will lose $850,000 in the first year due to the shutdown.
“The county budget is $80 million,” said Long, a Lodi resident who represents District 27, including Wards 4, 5 and 6 in the City of Lodi. “This could have an impact on social programs, highways, libraries. And unfortunately, we’re stuck with levy limits.”
The plant will close two units, the first one coming in 2023 and the next one the following year.
Alliant Energy is planning to retire the 45-year-old plant by 2025. It is purported to be the state’s second-largest coal-fired generator. An estimated 97 million tons of carbon dioxide will be eliminated by retiring the plant early, along with smog-causing pollutants like nitrogen and sulfur dioxide.
Long was also troubled by the lack of representation for the cities of Lodi and Portage on a proposed ad hoc redistricting committee for the county, as the county awaits the most recent census data from the federal government.
Lastly, as the chairperson for the county’s solid waste committee, Long commented on upcoming clean-up days, including Lodi’s event. Long said the county is making a push for more responsible recycling to remove contaminants. She said recycling has gone up in the last few months.
Knowing what to include with recycling and what not to include is important. Mixing in things like dirty diapers and pizza boxes with pieces of food stuck to them. Such material can contaminate other recyclable materials.
Check out what is and what isn’t recyclable here:
The board also discussed a preliminary resolution declaring intent to levy special assessments upon properties fronting both sides of Gay Street from Chestnut Street northerly to its intersection with North Main Street for street improvements. It was adopted April 20.
The work includes installation of concrete curb and gutter on both sides of the road.
Four residents will be impacted, along with a church and two businesses. The estimated total construction cost of improving Gay Street is $387,393.50.
A public hearing took place at the May 18 board meeting, but nobody from the community spoke.
The work is expected to be finished mid-June. Assessments are anticipated to total $13,097. The total amount assessed against the properties in the area cannot exceed the total cost of the improvements. The city engineer will prepare a report with final plans and specifications for the improvements, an estimate of the entire cost and a schedule of proposed assessments. The report will be filed with the city clerk.
Also, in accordance with past practices, the council unanimously voted to grant Lodi Pride Concerts in the Park series a reduced deposit for park shelter reservations for use of the Habermann Shelter. For the summer of 2021, three dates have been reserved. The parks committee recommended lowering the deposit to $25 per scheduled event, and the council went along with it. The reservation deposit will be reviewed annually.