By Martha B. Jacob –
The rumors that Dayton Power and Light would be closing it Stuart and Killen plants for good, were officially confirmed in a press release sent to the People’s Defender newspaper the first day of February.
The closing will have a devastating effect to the economies of Manchester, Aberdeen and Ripley in Brown Counties as well as Maysville, Kentucky and surrounding Kentucky and Ohio counties, according to Mason County, Kentucky Judge Executive Joseph P. Pfeffer.
Pfeffer met with members of the Aberdeen Council on March 16 to discuss plans to try and stop the closures. The meeting was attended by Brown County Commissioner Darryl Gray as well as Maysville Mayor David Cartmell, a representative from Governor John Kasich’s office, from Representative Brad Wenstrup and Senator Rob Portman’s office.
More than 80 people filled the room during the meeting.
“I am here to speak to everyone here tonight about a resolution Aberdeen Council will hopefully be signing,” said Pfeffer. “Tonight the river joins us in our efforts, it doesn’t divide us. How many people here work for DP&L? ( well over half the hands went up, most, members of the Utility Workers Union of America Local 175 in Dayton).”
Pfeffer spoke briefly about how the rise of wind and solar power in Australia was supposed to be the end for coal use in the world’s biggest exporter of the fossil fuel, but the shunned fuel is finding a new lease of life and may yet attract subsidies to keep their lights on.
He said that in the short term, he believes that the government and market operators will have to change the way market prices of electricity.
According to Pfeffer, he said that with the loss of all the direct jobs that will be lost at the Stuart and the Killen plants, there will be job losses of 3.6 extended jobs lost.
“These other jobs include jobs in the field of education, shipping the coal, maintaining the plants as well as the many, many independent workers at the plants,” Pfeffer said. “And those two plants are also extremely important to the grid because they can start on their own, without any assistance in the event of a blackout.”
Following a question and answer session from many of the employees of DP&L and other community members, Aberdeen Council unanimously adopted a resolution in support of DP&L maintain operations at the J.M. Stuart Station and the Killen Generating Station. Excerpts include;
….the Village of Aberdeen, Ohio has historically supported and continues to support, the pursuit of a reliable energy portfolio featuring coal as a primary, reliable electricity source for the industrial, commercial and residential power consumers of the Village of Aberdeen….
….coal has proven to be the most reliable and cost-effective source of base loan energy available….
….these stations contribute to the economic well-being of residents…
…both stations are important to electric reliability…
…roughly 300 to 380 are employed by the stations with 250 to 300 additional contracted employees will be effected…
…the closing would have a negative impact on local communities…
The resolution states that the Village of Aberdeen urges Dayton Power and Light to continue operations at the two stations.
A copy of the resolution will be sent to DP&L, Governor Kasich, Kentucky Governor Matthew Bevin, members of the Public Utilities Commission, the Local Union 175, and all state legislators, members of congress, commissioners, judge/executives, mayors and council members serving the Ohio Counties of Adams, Brown, Highland, Clermont, Scioto and Kentucky Counties of Mason, Bracken, Fleming, Robertson, Pendleton, Campbell and Lewis.