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Community-powered utility benefits BC residents

This week, I’d like to take some time to appreciate Boulder City’s Utilities Department, which provides power to residential and business customers.

Please join me in celebrating Public Power Week this Sunday, which started on Oct. 1 and runs through Saturday, Oct. 7.

Boulder City is one of 2,000 public power utilities that provide electricity to 49 million people across the country. Like many other public power utilities, Boulder City staff is always looking at ways to improve and protect our infrastructure to ensure safe, reliable, affordable, sustainable, and customer-focused service for many years to come.

We are still one of the lowest-cost providers in the country. Boulder City receives more than half of its power from renewable hydroelectric sources (forty percent is generated by the engineering wonder that built our community - Hoover Dam; Glen Canyon Dam on Lake Powell provides twelve percent). About a quarter of our power comes from solar energy from Townsite Solar, the other quarter from natural gas.

We are Clean, Green Boulder City in many ways.

Power use ranges from approximately 10 megawatts (MW) of power in more temperate months to about 50 MW on a peak summer day. Getting energy on the hottest of days can present a challenge.

That is why the city is also a member of the Silver State Energy Association. Silver State schedules power purchases and delivery for Boulder City as well as for other entities in Southern Nevada. Think of it like buying in bulk – when Silver State buys for multiple communities, cost savings are passed on to Boulder City customers.

As a not-for-profit public power utility, our loyalty is to our customers – not stockholders. Boulder City’s utility cannot generate a profit and is an enterprise fund, which means it is a self-supporting government fund, selling goods and services to the public for a fee. Last week, during the regular City Council meeting, I had the opportunity to shake hands with many of the employees who work for Boulder City’s Utilities Department. These workers play a key role in keeping our community up and running daily, often working crazy hours on the hottest of days to keep our power going.

Public power thrives because we are community-owned and governed by local decision-making. Boulder City is fortunate to have Department Director Joe Stubitz (who I’ve known since he was a child) supervising William Bruninga, Josh Hardy, Skip Spilman, and the technicians and lineworkers who care about the community and take pride in serving our friends and neighbors. I also would like to salute the members of our Utility Advisory Committee, who keep City Council and the city manager informed of community concerns and trends in the industry.

This year, Joe Stubitz is working to educate a future generation of potential public power employees. He is working with Martha P. King Elementary School to teach youth about the work of his staff and hopefully inspire future leaders for Boulder City’s Utilities Department.

Thank you to Boulder City’s Electrical workers for all that they do to keep our lights on. We appreciate you this week and every week.

Stuff I learned from my dad

It is that time of year in Newspaper World when we are going back through issues from the past year trying to decide what, if anything, is worth submitting for the annual Nevada Press Foundation Awards.

State veterans’ memorial still in f lux

Last month I wrote about a possible move of the veterans’ memorial from its long-time location adjacent to the Grant Sawyer building to the veterans’ cemetery in Boulder City.

Not on my turf

In early April, the City Council heard a presentation by Lage Design about staff’s recommended option to remove 35% of the turf at the Boulder City Municipal Golf Course.

I-11 is NOT the Autobahn

When the I-11 highway opened almost six years ago, it alleviated much of the heavy traffic congestion through Boulder City. But this beautiful expanse of open road brought with it a sense that “opening up” and putting the pedal to the metal is OK. It’s not.

New law shapes golf course design

I like golf. While I was in college, I decided to take a class in golf – you could call it a “golf course” course. I figured it would be a great way to relax, enjoy nature, and (maybe) boost my grade point average at the same time! For a semester, I learned the basics: how to drive, chip, putt. It was enjoyable. Many of my classmates that semester had been golfing for years. They were better than me, but I was determined to get a good grade out of the class.

The art of communication in consciousness

For Memorial Day I am exploring human consciousness with you. Many misunderstandings have been fought over the lack of a mutual perspective among the parties involved. What better gift is there than one that assists in the art of communication? My work in formulating the discipline of Aquarian Theosophy has led me to the following understanding of humanities’ reality; consciousness is the basis of understanding.

Alumni events, marriage and a real Nazi

Ron’s column from a few weeks ago inspired me to tell a story about a weird event from my past. Mine is not as exciting as his in that there is no wrestler named Silo Sam. But there is at least one Nazi. And, no, not the current “I disagree with your politics so you are a Nazi” version. An actual card-carrying member of the party.

Las Vegas Veterans’ Memorial to Boulder City?

Veterans’ memorials can be found all over the Silver State. They are well deserved. They honor individuals who served the nation, and also commemorate battles and events regarding the many military anniversaries in Nevada.