Holiday City

Holiday City Village Administrator Gary Baker told the village council Thursday a coal plant they purchase energy from could be closed under a proposed Illinois law.

HOLIDAY CITY — Illinois could become the first state in the nation to ban the use of fossil fuels to create energy, a move that could have ripple effects even in Williams County.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker has proposed a bill that will phase out combustion fuels — coal by 2035 and gas by 2045 — and double the state’s commitment to renewable energy, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Hurdles still remain in getting the legislation through the Illinois General Assembly (including opposition from five Chicago suburbs and Springfield, among others), but if it becomes reality then Holiday City will feel the heat, as well.

That’s because Holiday City gets some of its power from Prairie State, which Village Administrator Gary Baker said includes a coal-fired power plant owned by several non-profit groups including American Municipal Power (AMP).

“It’s possible that (Illinois) will pass legislation that will cause for its closing in the year 2035; I know it seems like a long ways away, but it’s before the plant is paid for,” he told the village council Thursday evening. “We only get one megawatt out of it, so our liability isn’t huge, but we’re going to have some liability if this, in fact, takes place.”

Baker said he would update the council as he learns more about it.

In other action, council approved an ordinance amending 2021 appropriations by adding $1,329.25 to the capital improvement fund.

Clerk-Treasurer Lauri TenEyck-Rupp said the appropriation came from updates to the village hall in 2020.

“We received two bills that were paid in March and May and then we never received anything so I thought we must be done,” she said. “We didn’t know anything about it until Gary gets this email last week or earlier this week saying that we have an unpaid bill from August.”

TenEyck-Rupp said she imagines with the mail going through a Detroit distribution center that it must be “stuck in a box” up there.

“Maybe we’ll get it someday, maybe we won’t,” she said.

The council also went into two executive sessions, the first to discuss personnel and the second for the purchase of property. No action was expected after either.

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