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Olsen elected to electrical board

Staff writer

Terry Olsen of Marion was elected Feb. 21 to serve as a District 4 representative on the board of trustees at the annual meeting of Flint Hills Rural Electric Cooperative Association at Centre High School.

Flint Hills is a member of the Kansas Electric Power Cooperative. Executive Vice President Steve Parr said the cooperative receives 40 percent of its power from coal-fired power plants, 30 percent from nuclear power, 20 percent from hydro-electric sources, and 10 percent from gas, wind, and solar combined.

He said coal-fired power plants in Kansas are updated and meet environmental regulations, assuring they will continue to operate into the future.

“Our power supply is strong,” Parr said.

He noted that new regulations coming down the pipe from the Environmental Protection Agency would require utility companies to use the most environmentally clean source of energy first, rather than the cheapest. This is expected to raise the cost of electricity to consumers.

Flint Hills RECA received approval for a 2.5 percent increase in rates, beginning in January. It is the first rate increase since June 1995.

Based in Council Grove, Flint Hills RECA serves 6,900 locations within 2,543 square miles. Its service area includes most of the rural areas of Marion and Morris counties and parts of six surrounding counties.

The co-op is in the process of replacing 8,000 utility poles, most of which were original poles installed in the 1930s and 40s. Because of storm damage, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has provided $17.6 million for the $29 million project. The project will be completed this year.

Last modified March 1, 2012

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