Board of Selectmen consider TVA Power Flexibility Program

Staff Writer

The West Point Board of Selectmen heard from many different sources during its meeting, Tuesday night.
The board was asked to approve a Power Supply Flexibility Agreement Contract between the city and TVA.
"We will have special consultant Chris Mitchell from electrical department in Tennessee," Robinson said."To answer questions over the phone."

Mitchell said this is a long term agreement to offer the opportunity to produce green energy yourself, such as solar, to provide to industries that require green energy in order to locate. It does not guarantee they would buy their energy from the city, but it allows the municipality to have the ability to provide it. No one is obligated to buy from the city, but this way the city has the opportunity of offer alternative energy sources.
"There are many manufacturers out there that want to have green power and they will go to a third party for that energy," Mitchell said. "You may not be able to produce green energy at that time but instead of losing the opportunity to a third party, we will help you provide that needed green energy. It will cost you nothing. And you will have this as an option for a green energy source for generations."

Robinson asked it this were for commercial or industrial customers."
Mitchell said he was talking with a customer in Tennessee that are putting in solar panels to serve the schools. The district wants to switch to green power. So with this agreement with TVA, they will be able to provide the green power this school district wants. If not they would have gone with a third party provider and they would have lost that money.
"So without the agreement with TVA, they would have lost the ability to provide power to that school district," Robinson said.
Mitchell said that at this point there may be not need for green energy. The City of West Point may never use this option, but it will cost nothing to enter into the agreement.

"We are already in a 20 year agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority," Robinson said. "This is an amendment to the current contract."
William Binder asked Mitchell how many other cities have entered into this agreement.
"Right now I don't know," Mitchell said. "But they are all considering and talking about it. We don't have anyone who said definitely that they are not going to do it."

The board asked for the city attorney to provide input from a legal standpoint.
"if this is what the board wants to do there is no particular reason to go one way or another." Orlando Richmond said.

McBrayer said this is allowing green energy to come into the area. This keeps the city in the game as far as providing green energy is concerned.
"This will allow us to be able to provide that energy," Poole said. "They are not obligated to purchase the energy from us, they can still go to someone else, but this way we can offer it."
There is no time limit on the agreement, the offer is there, Mitchell said. The flexibility is there.

"Solar is coming down in price," Mitchell said. "Now it is a viable alternative to electric power. It will on get cheaper to produce. it may be 10 years down the road before you need to offer solar. But as far as renewable energy being sought after by industry, it is coming."

Binder made the motion to approve the Power Supply Flexibility Agreement between the City of West Point and TVA. McBrayer seconded the motion.

Jeremy Klutts gave an update on blighted property, the first was property 291 Griffin Street, owned by Jacquiline Webster.
"We have been in touch with Ms. Webster and she has given permission for demolition," Klutts said.

"Bertha Quinn, a lot on Little Street. The taxes have not been paid. Proper notice was given and a sign placed. This is from last year. It is a lot that would be a good spot for a house."

Torrey Williams requesting another testing site to take place for COVID-19.
"I don't have a date yet, but I will let you know," Williams said. "It will be sponsored by the Mississippi Department of Health."

Williams said they are still waiting for CARES money to be distributed.
Public works expenses will go under FEMA for reimbursement, Williams said.

"That is usually a matching amount where we pay 25 percent," Williams said. "But the state may take care of that 25 percent. So we may not be out of any money."
He said FEMA has a list of things that are acceptable and those that are not, should be ready by July 31.

"We are becoming low on shipments of cleaning supplies and disinfectants," Williams said. "Instead of two shipments a week, we are only getting one."

West Point Fire Department Chief, Ken Wilbourne thanked the board for the SCBA equipment and announced Danny White has retired from the fire department and there was a member of the fire department who has left. So they need to consider hiring some replacements.
"We have eight candidates, four are certified, and four are not," Wilbourne said. "I would like to go with two candidates who are certified, to save time and money."

McBrayer made a motion to accept the resignation of Danny White. Binder seconded. All agreed.
"With the candidates, one has six years experience and one has five," Wilbourne said. "They are Xavier Moye and Brody White."
McBrayer made a motion to accept the recommendation from Wilbourne.

"I have some concern," Leta Turner, said. "I would like to know why one name was intentionally kept from the board."
Robinson was not aware of a name being kept from the board during the meeting Monday night.
Poole made a motion to table the hiring for the time being. It was seconded by Turner.
The board tabled the decision until until the issue could be addressed.

West Point Police Chief Avery Cook, addressed the cars being broken into in Westwood III and Clark Circle.
"These cars were left unlocked. so please lock your vehicles," Cook said. "The only things taken were weapons. Most of the time, if there is any money, they take that too. But it was just the weapons."
A home owner had video of a juvenile pulling on the doors of the vehicle.
"Please lock your car doors," Cook said. "In a perfect world we wouldn't have to, but we don't live somewhere perfect. So lock your doors."
The meeting was adjourned until 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 11.