Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

August 3, 2012

TPWA recognized for dependable service

TAHLEQUAH — In April, the Tahlequah Public Works Authority was recognized by the Municipal Electric Systems of Oklahoma for a second time in four years for providing the most dependable utility service for cities with a populations over 10,000.

A survey published this week by MESO revealed that TPWA ranks among the 25 percent of municipally-owned electric utility providers offering customers the lowest cost of service available.

“There are approximately 65 such cities in Oklahoma. The rest are provided service by PSO and OG&E,” said TPWA General Manager Mark Chesney.

“We have long known we have lower rates than they do. The survey just published this week shows electric rates from 44 Oklahoma cities. Of those 44 reporting, 10 were shown to have electric bill costs less than Tahlequah. That puts us in the bottom 25 percent of lowest cost.”

Chesney said the electric rates and costs can be shown in a variety of ways from residential, industrial and so on. In the survey, a household using 1,000 kilowatt hours each month would cost the customer $92, the TPWA general manager noted.

“That is the ranking I’m referring to,” Chesney said. “For the average household, 1,000 kilowatt hours is a little high, except possibly in the hottest part of the summer. In my own house, I used 1,300 kilowatt hours last month.”

He said TPWA’s rate is structured for residential so there is a small decrease in the cost per kilowatt hour for all energy used above 600.

“However, cost should never be the only consideration. I think the ranking shows an excellent value for Tahlequah citizens,” he said.

This is probably true for two reasons, he added.

“Many will remember about three months ago when TPWA was awarded a MESO recognition for having the most reliable electric system in all of Oklahoma,” Chesney said. “That distinction made reference to the fewest number of outages and the fastest response time in restoring power. That perception of value has also been validated in our recent customer satisfaction survey, which was completed near the middle of July.”

Chesney said results of the customer satisfaction survey will be presented at the next TPWA Board of Trustees meeting, scheduled for Friday, Aug. 17 at 9 a.m. in the board room of the public works office, 101 N. College.

“So I believe we are showing the investments made in our electric system, the training of our employees and the low-cost power supply from GRDA [Grand River Dam Authority] are combining to provide an excellent value for everyone,” said Chesney.

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What to you think of a state Legislature proposal to forbid cities from raising the minimum wage? Choose the closest to your opinion.

The federal government should set the minimum wage across the board.
States should be allowed to raise their minimum wages, but not cities.
Both states and cities should be allowed to raise their minimum wages.
Cities should be allowed to raise their mimum wages, but not states.
There should be no minimum wage at all.
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