Mayor Authorized to Receive Electric Light Plant for City

This was the headline which appeared in the January 5, 1912 issue of the Kaukauna Times. The following is an excerpt of the account of the council meeting of Tuesday, January 2, 1912.

“A resolution was introduced and unanimously passed authorizing and empowering the mayor to demand and take possession of the plant of the Kaukauna Gas, Electric Light and Power Company as per orders of January 1912, so as to make all reports and records in connection with the operation of the plant commence and close at the beginning and ending of the year. The resolution authorizes Mayor Coppes to receive and operate the plant in behalf of the City until further settlement is affected and a commission appointed to take charge of the City’s new acquisition. Manager William D. Montgomery, who has been in charge of the plant, and the regular employees of the aforesaid company, have been retained under agreement between the representatives of the company and the City to continue to operate the plant until such time as it becomes necessary to change, for the City is now bound to furnish current to consumers and take care of the business of the Electric Light plant just the same as the company was under the public utility law.

Another resolution was passed unanimously instructing the finance committee to draft an ordinance covering the bond issue necessary for the raising of the funds wherewith to pay $50,000 as ordered by the Railroad Commission, to the former owners of the Kaukauna Electric Light Plant. The mayor, city attorney, finance committee and representatives of the local banks, will meet for this purpose and have the ordinance in form to present at an adjourned meeting of the council to be held next Monday evening.”

Mayor Coppes was re-elected mayor at the April election of 1912 and in his inaugural address to the council stated: “The most important accomplishment of the last administration was the acquirement of the Electric Light plant. On December 28, 1911 the Railroad Commission rendered its decision fixing the valuation at which the city should take over the plant at $50,000, and pursuant to that order the possession of the plant was delivered to the City on the 3rd day of January, just one day less than a year from the date of filing of the papers with the commission, establishing as I believe, a record not soon to be equaled in the dispatch with which a public utility plant is acquired. The whole proceeding was disposed of at a cost of only $798.45, of which amount $573.58 was for the service and disbursements of the city engineer, $75.00 for witness fees, and incidental expenses and $149.87 for the services and disbursements of the city attorney. Possession of the plant was secured without any friction, delay or any other hindrances calculated to work against the successful operation of the plant by the City.”

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