The January issue of “Kansas Country Living” reports that Flint Hills Rural Electric Cooperative Association, headquartered in Council Grove, was awarded a $4.6 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The grant will provide 75 percent of the cost for retrofitting and strengthening 143 miles of electrical distribution facilities in Marion County.
Through the FEMA-approved engineering design, the facilities will be able to better withstand the effects of wind and ice loading in the future. The design will include stronger poles on shorter span lengths using aluminum conductor.
Chuck Goeckel, assistant manager of Flint Hills RECA, said the grant is separate from the FEMA funds the coop received to repair damage from ice storms in 2005, 2007, and 2009. He said the updates would occur throughout the county, as determined by FEMA.
Goeckel said squigglies on the new lines are designed to deter migrating birds.
Flint Hills RECA serves approximately 2,000 electric meters in Marion County. In addition to rural farms and residents, the co-op also provides electric power to other critical infrastructure such as wastewater and rural-water systems.