The unanimous vote begins a process that will result in public hearings and council action on a power sales contract with LEPA for a 10 megawatt share of a 64 megawatt power plant to be built in Morgan City.
The seven other cities involved in the plant are to have their contracts approved by April so LEPA can act in May, said former Mayor Tim Matte, who explained the project to the council.
Current Mayor Frank “Boo” Grizzaffi said, “He said he would stick with us and give back to the community when he can,” about Matte’s presentation and service as a LEPA board member.
Matte said the LEPA project would help stabilize utility costs for the member cities and citizens.
Other cities involved in the project are New Roads, Plaquemine, Rayne, Vidalia, Houma, St. Martinville and Jonesville. Abbeville and Welsh have withdrawn from the project, Matte said.
Winnfield is considering joining the project, he added.
Morgan City’s cost for the project is like getting a new car that is going to last longer “but it doesn’t affect my budget,” Matte said.
The city’s current debt service for power is $1.893 million and after the new plant would be $1.807 million.
“That helps make it a lot easier for us as a community,” he said.
The city is going to have to do something about its aging steam power plant, he said. “This is one way of replacing a portion of that,” he said of the proposed LEPA natural gas-fired power plant.
Morgan City’s power plant generates about 50 megawatts and the city has access to 20 megawatts from LEPA’s Rodemacher plant, he said.
Power usage for Morgan City peaks at 44 megawatts, he said.