SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– In video provided by City Utilities, see the four stacks of the James River Power Station come crashing down after 64 years of use.
Long-time James River Power Station employee Matt Kastner was the one to cause the planned implosion this Saturday. He knew someone was going to implode the stacks, but just thought it would be him.
“I heard that there were a lot of people putting money in in my name for me to push the button,” Kastner said.
Kastner pushed the button to implode the stacks after his sister, Melinda Pew, won the “Blasting for the Better” raffle, which helped to raise $9,705 for the United Way of the Ozarks.
“They came down yesterday to introduce me to the person that won. And I had no idea. And I turned around and my sister was standing by me.”
For Pew, it was a no brainer to enter to win the raffle for her brother.
“I heard about the raffle and a couple of people sent me the the link and I saw it, and I just thought, well, that would be a good way to go back,” Pew said. “Then handed over to my brother and fun to watch it.”
Kastner has worked for the station for 43 years. Ozarks First spoke with Kastner earlier this month about his time working there.
“It’s just been a great place to be,” Kastner said. “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.”
The implosion was broadcast live on the City Utilities Facebook page. CU is demolishing the plant in phases. Kastner said he plans to retire once the demolish is done.
“I want to see the buildings stay,” Kastner said. “I’d like for them to keep that there. I know the boilers are probably going to go down, but as long as the plant is still there, I’m happy with it.”
CU said part of the station will still be up and running. It currently houses two active natural gas combustion turbines.
The power station was first built in 1957 and has been in operation for 64 years.