Looking back at 2015
At the end of each year, we take the opportunity to reflect on our accomplishments and how they benefit our community. Fayetteville Public Utilities’ 2015 system improvements in particular have helped our community grow as we enhanced and upgraded utility and customer services while working toward building a better tomorrow.
Over the past year, FPU continued our commitment to you of providing safe, reliable and affordable utility services while meeting the growing needs of our customers.
FPU’s electric department enhanced service by increasing capacity and reliability inside portions of the Fayetteville city limits, Howell Hill Road and the Coldwater Creek area. Each of these electric upgrades were significant, however, completion of the city’s 1.66 miles of electric three-phase infrastructure is considered a milestone for the department.
Capacity on the city’s electric circuit increased from 6 megawatts to 20 megawatts which ensures the stability of voltage, improves the quality of service and increases the available power in the city to accommodate future growth. These upgrades also enhanced the alternate electric feed which FPU built years ago to power the city in the event of a failure at the Brogan Avenue Substation. The alternate electric feed can quickly supply an alternate source of power to the city from the Industrial Park Substation through our SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) system and switching procedures.
FPU also relocated the three-phase line at Frito Lay to accommodate future plant expansions.
FPU experienced minimal problems during last winter’s ice storm and thus was able to send a five-man electric crew to the Duck River Electric Membership Corporation service area to assist them with power restoration.
From January through October, our right-of-way maintenance crews have cleared trees and vegetation from more than 250 miles of electric line which further sustains our system reliability.
FPU’s Natural Gas Department focused on system expansion and reliability in 2015. Earlier this year, we extended a three-mile stretch of gas main in the Flintville area to provide natural gas service to about 100 customers.
Our wastewater department completed upgrades in the Laten Bottom and Tanyard Branch areas as tens of thousands of feet of sewer pipe were replaced to enhance service and flow to the treatment plant. This summer, we began our next phase of sewer rehab which includes 15,000 feet of line in scattered areas of the city and in the vicinity of Winchester Highway.
We advanced with plans for biosolids removal at FPU’s Wastewater Treatment Plant and began preparation for plant upgrades which are planned to begin in 2016.
FPU’s Water Treatment Plant construction progressed steadily over the past year, as you can see in the photos. The new plant will have the base capacity of producing 4.5 million gallons of water per day which accommodates for future community growth.
In 2015, our telecom department was successful in negotiating new contracts with the off-air channels to continue broadcasting Nashville and Huntsville channels through FPU’s cable service. We installed the Broadband Service Router to offer faster service to our customers. FPU telecom crews continued expanding fiber-to-the-home, EPON (Ethernet Passive Optical Network) and direct fiber services to many local business and industry locations.
FPU finished its eighth consecutive fiscal year in June with a positive net income and kept operational cost increases below the rate of inflation.
Over the past year, FPU has been recognized in the utility industry as a leader in the areas of safety and performance. FPU received top scores in the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association’s annual safety audit; top scores in a recent Sanitary Survey conducted by the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation; top scores in the annual Tennessee Regulatory Authority inspection; and received a five-year safety award from the American Public Gas Association.
FPU and our employees have also been supportive of the community. We participate annually in the Relay For Life and Lincoln County Heart Walk events by raising and donating money to each cause, and we sponsor community-wide donation drives collecting food and coats to benefit those in need.
Across the board, FPU has had a successful year. In our efforts to build a better tomorrow, we’ve worked as a team, moving forward and positioning FPU to deliver unbeatable services, sustain our rates and enhance local utility infrastructure and technology for our customers today and for future generations.