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Columbia's municipal power plant is operated by Columbia Utilities (2022 file photo courtesy of Utilities spokesman Matt Nestor)

Murphy: Columbia transmission line project approved by voters in 2015 still not done

Columbia’s municipal power plant is operated by Columbia Utilities (2022 file photo courtesy of Utilities spokesman Matt Nestor)

There has been little progress on the major items included in 2015 and 2018 voter-approved Columbia utility bond issues.

That’s according to Comobuz.com publisher Mike Murphy, who joined host Fred Parry in-studio Saturday on 939 the Eagle’s “CEO Round Table.” Murphy notes Columbia voters approved a $63-million bond issue in 2015 to finance improvements to the electric grid.

“Got onto this 2015 transmission line that had been delayed and is still delayed today. They still haven’t sold the bonds for it, it’s still badly needed. It was $30-million of critical infrastructure improvements needed back than that still aren’t done,” Murphy says.

Mr. Murphy tells listeners that the project is needed.

“Most people who live in Columbia are noticing and talking about more and more power outages, glitches, things with the electrical grid. And they’re not really sure what’s really going on, other than something isn’t right. Well that’s what’s going on, it’s not getting the needed maintenance that has been critical actually for more than a decade,” says Murphy.

Columbia voters also approved a $43-million bond issue in 2018 to finance renovations for the water treatment plant near McBaine. Murphy says little action has been taken on that as well.

Host Fred Parry tells listeners that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent on consultants, adding that those reports have been ignored.

You can hear Fred’s full interview with Mike Murphy here.

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