- Popcorn Festival committee boosts electrical service at Forest Park
As expected, the Popcorn Festival board had to make a decision about mid-summer about how to handle the increase in vendors this year but also in those who needed electricity. Existing service in Forest Park could not handle the increase. The Festival was close to doubling the number of spaces sold and a plan had to be devised quickly to handle the extra vendors.
The Park Board was notified of the dilemma and several meetings and discussions were held to figure out the best way to handle the overload of vendors with a shortage of electricity. The Park Board agreed that we could add more service but the concern was how to do it without adding post and receptacles that deter from the natural landscape of the woods north of the Log Cabins. After several meetings and careful considerations, the Festival Board members, Park Board members, Brian Coleman of Cinergy, and electrician Glen Steurwald came up with a plan to satisfy everyone.
A new meter and control panel was added southwest of the concession stand which Cinergy connected to existing service near the playground as an in-kind service. All lines would be buried. Then the electrical lines from the meter and panel are connected underground to each of the four drilled holes into underground boxes. Each of the four poles (with 6 receptacles) is placed into its assigned hole over the underground box between the Log Cabins and Pavilion. The uniqueness of this plan is that each post with receptacles is designed to be removed after use, then the sealed underground box is capped off, and dirt is thrown in over it. Grass seed and straw are added and the natural state is maintained. Also, the system is set up to add additional receptacles as the Festival grows each year.
There were several people involved who donated their time and equipment to help reduce the costs which included Timberlands who provided lumber for the panel and receptacle posts, Rick Alumbaugh who provided the auger and drilled the post holes, and Steve and Nancy Withers who coordinated the plan with the electrician, Cinergy, and both boards.