KISSIMMEE, Fla., October 4, 2010 – Kissimmee Utility Authority is celebrating Public Power Week, Oct. 3-9, along with more than 2,000 other electric utilities that collectively provide electricity on a not-for-profit basis to 45 million Americans.
Public Power Week is a national, annual event sponsored in conjunction with the American Public Power Association in Washington, D.C., the national service organization for the nation’s community- and state-owned not-for-profit electric utilities.
“This year’s Public Power Week coincides with KUA’s 25th anniversary of serving the community,” said Jim Welsh, KUA’s president and general manager. “Public power systems like KUA are an expression of the American ideal of local people working together to meet their community’s needs. Like schools, parks, police, and fire protection, we are governed locally and operated to provide an essential public service.”
It was back in 1983 that the city of Kissimmee formed an ad hoc committee to determine the best way to manage the city’s electric utility. In 1984, the ad hoc committee presented its recommendation to the city commission, and the commission then reappointed the committee members to a charter committee to develop the charter under which the new utility would operate. In 1985, the city commission approved the charter and one month later the residents of Kissimmee voted 2-to-1 to accept the charter that formed the Kissimmee Utility Authority, effective Oct. 1, 1985. The utility had been a department within the city since its founding in 1901.
Among the activities planned for Public Power Week:
• Calendar Art Contest – KUA officially kicks off its annual calendar art contest by inviting students to use the power of art to promote electrical safety. Details: http://kua.com/calendar
• Commemorative Photo – KUA will gather up its utility vehicle fleet for a 25th anniversary photo.
• Board of Directors Meeting – The board will honor 11 employees with a combined total of 199 years of service, and we’ll recognize and bid farewell to the utility’s longest-serving employee, superintendent of T&D operations Ed Carter. Carter retires Friday after 44 years of service.
• To cap off the week, KUA will host Osceola County’s largest outdoor Latin music festival – Viva Osceola – on the Osceola campus of Valencia Community College. The event will feature live entertainment, dancing, art, food and drink, and a kid’s play area. Admission and parking are free.
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility providing electric and telecommunication services to 62,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.
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Chris M. Gent