Paducah Power System leaders explore establishing nonprofit foundation

Your utility money goes to fund a beloved holiday tradition: Christmas in the Park. Now, Paducah Power System leaders want to change that.

Last week Paducah Power discussed establishing its own nonprofit foundation, which would allow it to apply for grants. As for how that foundation could change Christmas in the Park, leaders tell me it may help fund the event without rate payer money and help continue the tradition for a long time.

While that seems like a no-brainer, power leaders say the idea still needs a lot of work.

It was a beautiful day at the park Monday, but mom Christy Robertson says there was really only one thing on her son’s mind driving in. “He’s ready for the Christmas lights to go on," she said. 

Robertson said it’s not only a tradition where they can spend time as a family. She said it’s a way to give back and teach her kids about the spirit of giving. She said: “They feel like they’re doing something good, because they’re giving canned goods.”

As for how much Christmas in the Park costs Paducah Power, and therefore you, it’s an estimated $20,000.

Paducah Power spokeswoman Andrea Underwood said the utility company wants to keep its signature community event going. With this many lights, she says PPS needs to start thinking of maintenance for the future, but also wants to keep rate payers’ money in mind as well.

Underwood said: “How do we do more for the community? How do we do more for our customers, but do it without rate payer money and under the circumstances we are currently?”

Robertson said she didn’t mind her money going towards the lights and charities, because it brought so much cheer to her kids’ faces.

She said: “The kids light up when they see the lights.”

If the foundation is formed, Underwood says ideally it would benefit more than just Christmas at the Park. She says it could help their Project Roundup where they help customers who have trouble paying their energy bills. But, again, Paducah Power is working and exploring the possibility of establishing the foundation.

Underwood says its to replace some of their biggest displays costs, which run from $40,000 to $50,000.

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