ABERDEEN - A new electric substation is expected to be completed within six months to help an almost-50-year-old substation shoulder the load in providing power to Aberdeen residents.

Grey Neely, general manager for the Aberdeen Electric Department, said bids for the substation, which will be located on Matubba Road south of Mississippi Highway 25, were awarded in late February. Aubrey Silvey Enterprise Inc. of Carrollton, Ga., submitted the low bid at $835,335.

The new substation is needed to help supply power to a Vista Chemical expansion. Neely, who took over as the electric department's general manager in February, said the existing substation has provided service to the area since the late 1940s, but would not be able to handle the additional load.

The construction contract calls for the substation to be complete within 180 days, he said.

To pay for the construction the Aberdeen Electric Department has issued bonds, which will be repaid through fees. The last time the Aberdeen Electric Department increased rates was in January, Neely said.

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