WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Bushnell Will Install Emission Controls at Power Plant

Apr 6, 2012

Bushnell hoped to avoid spending the $650,000 for catalytic converters on the engines at its power plant. Mayor Steve Russell said the city keeps the plant as a back-up and doesn't run it regularly.

However, maintaining the power plant brings in $25,000 monthly payments.

Russell said the city buys electricity from a consortium, the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency. The agency makes those payments for the city's generating capacity. One condition is that the power plant meets EPA regulations. New regulations  require the installation.

Russell said, “We use that money we receive every month to keep rates down for our customers.”

He said the city will “bite the bullet” and make the purchase. He said the city has more than enough in its municipal utility reserve fund to pay for the project.

Russell said it's nice to have the reserve capability. If the city would lose its power from IMEA, the plant could be fired up in about 15 minutes.