By Roger McKinney
GIRARD, Kan. — A $12 million federal grant will allow Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative to undertake what it is calling the biggest construction project in its history.
The $12 million grant has been awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a $16 million project to rebuild 374 miles of the electric utility’s backbone distribution system.
“It’s going to be a huge undertaking,” said Ron Graber, Heartland spokesman.
Work will include projects in eight counties: Cherokee, Crawford, Bourbon, Allen, Linn, Miami, Neosho and Wilson.
A news release announcing the grant award states that the 374 miles of overhead distribution lines will be rebuilt to a stronger construction standard and be better able to withstand severe weather. As a result, there will be fewer outages with shorter durations.
Graber said the improvements would include installing stronger utility poles, heavier anchoring, replacing the overhead line with better conductor, and reducing the distance between poles.
“All of these changes will make our system better able to withstand the ice and wind that are the primary causes of our outages,” Graber said.
The Heartland news release states that the grant will allow the cooperative to make the improvements with small increases to electric rates. Without the grant, such improvements could take 20 years to accomplish.
Graber said all the work will be done on existing lines and no additional property would be bought. He said the first step is to undertake engineering work on the project. He said an outside contractor would be hired to do the construction work.
The project will take three years.
Graber said the rural electric cooperative serves 11,800 meters, with some properties having more than one meter.
The grant is from FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, which provides grants to states and local governments to implement long-term hazard mitigation measures.
Heartland Rural Electric Cooperative was incorporated in 1996, resulting from a consolidation of several rural electric cooperatives.
By Roger McKinney
- Joplin Metro
Longtime Democrat dies at 81
Sapp, 81, died Thursday. Funeral services were Monday at the First Presbyterian Church of Joplin. A longtime Jasper County Democratic committeewoman and volunteer, Sapp for years was secretary to the county’s central committee.
Nixon visits Joplin to sign breast density bill
Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation at Freeman Hospital on Tuesday that will require radiologists in Missouri to provide information about breast density on post-mammogram reports.
Defendant draws 10 years for assault of ex-girlfriend
A Jasper County judge today sentenced a rural Joplin man to 10 years in prison for an assault on an ex-girlfriend with a walking stick that left one of her eyes detached from its socket.
Rural Joplin child dies from gunshot wound to head
A 3-year-old girl died Monday at 11:30 a.m. Monday at Freeman Health Systems after suffering a gunshot wound to the head. The incident occurred at the child's home in rural Joplin, said Sheriff Ken Copeland.
Suspect in coach's slaying posts bond
Jeffrey Bruner posted bond shortly before noon today and was released from the Jasper County Jail in Carthage.
Downtown group warns about Third Thursday mail scam
Officials with the Downtown Joplin Alliance on Friday announced that a mail scam involving Third Thursday has been discovered.
PART TWO: Joplin City Council report documents continued
As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. Documents are converted for digital viewing.
The amount of documentation we received is extensive, and testimonies are continued here.
PART ONE: Joplin Globe receives copy of investigation named in court order
As a result of a court order obtained by the Globe against the City of Joplin, and Thursday's waiving of appeal by the City Council, we have received a copy of the Thomas Loraine investigation report that led to the firing of former city manager Mark Rohr. As documents are converted for digital viewing, they will be uploaded here.
In City Council race, Joplin voters elect two newcomers, three incumbents
Joplin voters rejected two incumbents who voted to fire City Manager Mark Rohr, instead electing two newcomers and returning three incumbents to the City Council who had supported Rohr.
Joplin voters reject all three charter changes
The changes were placed on the ballot by the City Council acting upon recommendations by a Charter Review Commission that met last fall.
- More Joplin Metro Headlines
- Longtime Democrat dies at 81