City of Minden looks to connect power grid

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If the 2015-16 proposed budget for the City of Minden passes as discussed, then the Public Works department may get enough money to begin the completion of the transmission loop.

George Rolfe, public works director, says the city upgraded and updated the city’s transmission lines in 2001, but it stops at the Germantown substation.

“What we want to do is to complete that,” he said.

The city’s power comes from Entergy’s lines, which starts at Gilark, then goes to the steam plant on Horton Street. It leaves the steam plant and then goes out Sibley Road ending at the East Street substation. It then comes back to Sheppard and Fort Streets. At Sheppard and Fort Street, one line goes to the Sheppard Street substation, the other goes by Brookshire’s, ending at the Germantown substation.

The system was upgraded from 69 kva, or 1,000 volt amps, to 115 kva transmission, Rolfe said.

“The old system stopped at the steam plant at 69 kva and used to loop the whole town,” he said. “The part between Germantown and High Street, that’s the part that’s missing. Back in 2001, and this started before I came here, they were upgrading from 69,000 volts to 115,000 volts. The reason for that is it’s more efficient.”

In 2001, a new substation at East Street was built, upgraded the substation at Sheppard Street, updated the substation at Germantown, and part of that upgrade was the new galvanized poles, he said.

For example, a number of years ago, as a result of a guy wire being hit, it shorted out the system, causing the city of Minden to go dark, but crews were able to restore it within two or three hours.

“When that happened, if we had the loop completed, we could have opened up certain switches and closed other switches and we could’ve back fed,” he said. “Right now we can’t do that. If we have a problem (in between the incomplete portion of the loop), we can’t back feed. That’s what it’s all about.”

During budget workshops over the summer, Rolfe discussed the public works budget with the mayor and council members, saying instead of having $750,000 dedicated to overlaying roads, that money would be better spent split it up among this project, tree-trimming road repair/overlay and water hydrant upgrades and improvements.

If passed, public works would see roughly $600,000 for all these projects.

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