Utilities and Communities Enjoy Public Power Week 2016
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Posted by: Kerry Cordray
On September 29, Governor Jay Nixon issued a proclamation designating October 2-8 as “Public Power Week In Missouri”, a statewide recognition of the American Public Power Association’s annual week to appreciate the role of community-owned electric utilities nationwide.
Several Missouri utilities observed the week with a variety of activities to raise community awareness and employees’ “Pride in Public Power.”
On Wednesday of the week, Rolla Municipal Utilities held a Public Power Celebration in downtown Rolla. The first event of its kind in Rolla, the day featured free hotdogs, chips and soda, along with equipment displays and an information booth focusing on both electric and water utilities. A popular part of the event was a drawing, providing residential customers in attendance the opportunity to win one of three certificates (for $200, $100, or $50) in utility credits. RMU estimated they fed the assembled celebration crowd with 350 free hot dogs.
Columbia Water & Light had a breakfast for employees, and it also highlighted the week several times through social media posts, focusing on their crews traveling to Florida, preparing to provide mutual aid help for the Hurricane Matthew recovery effort.
Carthage Water & Electric Plant (CW&EP) used Public Power Week to reach the community in several ways. CW&EP hosted tours of its power plant on Tuesday and Thursday of the week. Free coffee, water, & popcorn were available all week in its business lobby. Grade 2-4 classes at all Carthage R-9 elementary schools participated in a Public Power Week coloring contest. During the week, customers who signed up for paperless billing or automatic withdrawal payments received a free LED light bulb.
CW&EP also used the week to motivate involvement in its Facebook page. Each day the utility had a “Save Green, Go Green” contest drawing for a $250 Lowes voucher for LED lighting. Facebook readers entered the daily drawings automatically by “liking” or “sharing CW&EP’s page. Facebook readers could also answer daily trivia questions, with each day’s first correct answer rewarded by a prize provided by a local business.
On the last day of the week, CW&EP held an open house/customer appreciation luncheon, where they gave bucket truck rides, staff demonstrations, giveaways and unveiled newly revamped utility vehicles.
For several years the Hannibal Board of Public Works (HBPW) has been known in its community for a very active Public Utilities Week. 2016 was no exception. The week’s activities and events at Hannibal focused on several days of staff-spearheaded community service projects. On Monday, HBPW staff partnered with Hannibal's local Stream Team chapter on a local stream cleanup, collecting 6,830 pounds of trash from an area creek. Tuesday, employees helped with maintenance of a historic city cemetery, where volunteers mowed grass, pulled weeds, and trimmed and removed trees. On Wednesday October 5, HBPW’s employees served at the Northeast Missouri Sheltered Workshop, a recycling facility that employs mentally disabled residents. The workers mowed the property, disposed of large piles of trash, and helped move large pieces of equipment inside the facility. Finally, on October 6, HBPW held a Customer Appreciation Day, setting up tents in Hannibal’s Central Park and serving a free lunch throughout the day. Attendees also had the chance to win one of ten $50.00 gift certificates to be applied to their utility bills.
Next year’s Public Power Week will be October 1-7, 2017. Any MPUA member city wishing for assistance with the planning of Public Power Week activities may contact MPUA Public Information Officer Kerry Cordray at email@example.com.