Fla., June 24, 4:00 pm – Saturday, June 28th, will mark the 102nd anniversary of
community-owned electric service in Kissimmee.
It was during a Kissimmee City Council meeting on June 28, 1901, that a resolution was
passed authorizing the City’s purchase of Kissimmee Electric Light Company from W.C. Maynard
for $4,293.59. Maynard, a Kissimmee resident, had owned and operated the private power
company in Kissimmee under contract with the City since December 4, 1900. Upon the purchase,
the City assumed full ownership and operation of the electric system.
As Florida’s sixth largest municipally-owned electric utility, Kissimmee Utility Authority’s
history is rooted in service, reliability and innovation. Today, KUA supplies services to a
population of 152,000 people via 61,000 commercial and residential accounts in an
85-square-mile service area in northern Osceola County.
“Electric service has been part of everyday life in Osceola County for more than 100 years,”
said KUA president and general manager Jim Welsh. “KUA’s commitment to reliability,
integrity and excellence will continue that tradition for years to come.”
Kissimmee is the fifth oldest municipal electric utility in the state … following Starke
(1890), Jacksonville (1895), Ocala (1897) and Williston (1900). Compare that to the
establishment of electric service in other Central Florida communities … St. Cloud (1916),
Mt. Dora (1922) and Orlando (1923).
Kissimmee’s first commercial customer in 1901 was Makinson Hardware. Though the store had
already been open for 17 years and operating without electricity, the owners decided to take
advantage of the nearby power plant in downtown Kissimmee and enhance their business with
electric lights. One year later, Makinson Hardware began operating an electric conveyer
system in its machine shop. Amazingly, the motor that operated the system remains in the
As Florida’s oldest hardware store, Makinson Hardware has been passed down through
generations of family members. “KUA is proud to be associated with Makinson Hardware,” said
Welsh. “We look forward to keeping the lights burning on this family tradition.”
Through the years, KUA has been recognized locally and nationally for excellence in service.
In 2002, KUA was named by the Kissimmee/Osceola County Chamber of Commerce as Osceola
County’s Business of the Year. The American Public Power Association cited the utility’s
outstanding contributions to the social, cultural, educational and economic environment when
it awarded its Community Service Award to KUA in 1995. In addition, KUA has received the
Florida Municipal Electric Association’s Community Service Award for five years running.
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Contact: Chris Gent, Manager of Corporate Communications
(407) 933-7777 ext. 1116