KISSIMMEE, Fla., October 1, 2015 – Today marks the 30th anniversary of the creation of the Kissimmee Utility Authority.
In 1983, the city of Kissimmee formed an ad hoc committee to determine the best way to manage the city’s electric utility. Up until that time, the utility had operated as a department of the city.
In 1984, after a full year of research, an ad hoc committee presented its recommendation for a separate utility authority 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.
The following year, 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 October 1, 1985.
“KUA is perhaps the best investment ever made by the city of Kissimmee,” said KUA president and general manager Jim Welsh. “Today, the utility offers high reliability, competitive rates, strong customer satisfaction and a steadfast commitment to the community we serve.”
As part of today’s anniversary festivities, the utility’s fleet of service vehicles made its way through the streets of Kissimmee. The convoy was led by the oldest vehicle in KUA’s fleet, driven by the utility employee with the most years of service — lineman first class Terry Luke (34 years). A special ceremony was also held that included current and past utility board members.
To mark the anniversary milestone, the utility has donated a solar suitcase through We Care Solar. The suitcase provides off-grid health clinics in developing countries with solar power for critical obstetric and surgical lighting, mobile phones, fetal heart rate monitors and other essential medical devices.
“More than 287,000 women die each year from pregnancy complications, and millions of infants are stillborn or die in the first days of life, primarily in regions with insufficient energy resources for conducting basic obstetric care,” said Welsh. “This gift is our way of spreading light and hope to others around the world.”
Founded in 1901, KUA (www.kua.com) is Florida’s sixth largest community-owned utility powering 67,000 customers in Osceola County, Fla.
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Contact: Chris Gent