SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – City Utilities and United Way are partnering for a special raffle- one person will get the chance to detonate the implosion of the stacks at the James River power station.

The James River power station started as a proposition in 1950.
It quickly grew into what people see as they’re driving by Lake Springfield- Four giant stacks.

“When they first built this plant in 1957, it was just two units, one and two. We just had one stack,” says operations manager Matthew Kastner.

Kastner started working at the James River power station in 1978.

“I have spent more time, more hours in this plant than I did in any individual house I ever lived in, so I’m pretty comfortable walking around here in the dark..”

Things have changed since his first day.

“They’re quite a bit different. Quite a bit better. So there’s a lot of equipment that’s changed emissions. Things have gotten a lot better. They’ve improved a lot.”

“About a dozen years ago, we put a 300-megawatt unit into service on the western part of Springfield, the John Twitty energy center. That unit alone is considerably more energy than what all five of these put together can produce,” says Joel Alexander with City Utilities.

Alexander with City Utilities says due to the cost, regulations, and technology, it was time to retire the James River station.

“You reach a point that those costs are just astronomical. And so you have to make some decisions.”

Although exciting for the community member who gets to take down the stacks, the station itself still holds a special place for those who work there…

“It’s just been a great place to be. And there’s times that I regretted being here because it was, it was, you know, a tough place to work at times, but it was a great place to work most of the time,” says Kastner.

There are still two combustion turbines active at the station.. which means the station is not completely shutting down.

City utilities and united way are partnering for a special raffle —-one person will get the chance to detonate the implosion of the stacks