Clay Center Public Utilities
City of Clay Center
The Clay Center Board of Public Utilities Commission in Clay Center, Kansas consists of a three-man board approved by the Clay Center City Council. In November 2004, the Public Utilities Commission voted to become members of the Kansas Power Pool. Clay Center is one of the founding members of the Power Pool, which was originally created to allow multiple Kansas energy providers to pool their resources to produce and purchase electricity more cost-effectively.
During the Depression era of the 1930’s, many Clay Center, Kansas residents found it impossible to pay their water and light bills. The Public Utilities Commission decided rather than disconnecting those customers who could not pay their bills, the Commission would give the customers the opportunity to work off their bills at the proposed park site. The beautiful natural stone walls along 4th Street is among the many highlights of the Utility Park. These stone walls were constructed entirely by the workers and still stand today. The Park officially opened in 1933 with an ice cream social and band concert. In 1934, the City Beautiful Committee entered Utility Park in a national contest sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. Utility Park won, “The More Beautiful America Award,” and a plaque stands in the park to commemorate the award. A fountain was installed in 1936. In 1960 acreage was added for picnic areas. In 1963 “Kiddie Corral” with playground equipment was added. The Gazebo was designed and built by the Power Plant employees in 1980. More acreage was later added to the west of the Zoo to serve as walking paths.
Utility Park is supported and operated entirely by the Public Utilities Commission as a gift to the citizens of Clay Center. No taxpayer dollars or mill levies are spent on Utility Park.