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Sun, Aug. 09

Tusayan power plant<br>study set to begin<br>

Funds have been secured and a request for proposals is being prepared for a feasibility study to be done on the possibility of a co-regeneration power plant in Tusayan.

Barry Baker, chairman of the Tusayan-Grand Canyon Sustainable Energy Project committee, said Thursday that the RFP could be ready for bidders by the end of this month.

“We’ll probably be shooting to have the RFP done by the end of July,” he said. “I would hope to see it get under way so that ... we could select (a contractor) sometime in September. We could get that going in September and October and get back to us in six months.”

The committee, formed under the auspices of the South Grand Canyon Sanitary District, includes Baker, Greg Bryan, Clarinda Vail, Pete Shearer, Don Keil and Rick Stahn. The group has met twice in the last couple of weeks.

The sanitary district has limited involvement with the feasibility study, acting as the official “legal pass-through vehicle” for grants. Utilizing the district was preferred over creating a separate nonprofit entity for the same purpose.

The co-regeneration plant could solve trash and recycling concerns that have existed in the community since Coconino County closed its Tusayan transfer station east of town. Talk of the plant has also drawn the interest of Grand Canyon National Park officials. But there are still several questions to be answered, prompting the idea of a feasibility study.

The U.S. Forest Service’s Kaibab National Forest committed $28,000 to the project through a federal financial assistance award. Along with a grant from Arizona Public Service, the committee feels there are enough funds available to attract bidders.

“Our goal has always been to have an answer for this feasibility study by the end of June, beginning of July next year,” Baker said.

The sanitary district wanted to limit the timeframe for its initial involvement with the project.

In an October sanitary district meeting, board president Shearer asked for a limit of 12 to 18 months. After that time, a nonprofit entity or a new district could then be created with the sanitary district’s involvement ending.

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