Municipal Electric Utility Earns Safety Commendation

Municipal Electric Utility Earns Safety Commendation
Mayor Gee Williams is pictured presenting a safety commendation to Berlin Electric Utility Director Tim Lawrence. Photo by Charlene Sharpe

BERLIN – Town officials recognized Berlin Electric’s commitment to safety with a commendation.

Mayor Gee Williams last week presented the American Municipal Power Transmission/Distribution Safety Commendation to Berlin Electric Utility Director Tim Lawrence.

“That really is something for all of us to be proud of because staying safe means being vigilant and taking care of details every day,” Williams said. “I think that’s the attitude our electric department and all of our electric utility employees bring to the table.”

Williams said the town had joined American Municipal Power (AMP), a nonprofit made up of 135 municipal power providers from throughout the country, about three years ago. Membership in the organization gives the town the chance to pool resources and participate in special trainings. The nonprofit also monitors Berlin Electric’s statistics.

Williams said this was the second time in the three years since joining AMP that the town had received a safety commendation.

“It’s a two-year commendation that we get,” Lawrence said. “The last one we got was in 2017. Basically, it’s a safety award that’s presented to utilities. It’s based on the amount of lost hours due to accidents and that type of thing.”

He added that his department was tasked with following a variety of state and federal guidelines related to dealing with high voltage electricity.

“We pay a lot of attention to detail to make sure we do it safely and correctly,” he said.

Jeff Fleetwood, Berlin’s acting town administrator, pointed out that AMP had looked at lost time related to workplace accidents, equipment failures and vehicles incidents.

“Tim’s run for the last calendar year was 0,” Fleetwood said. “You take 10 employees, 2,000 hours a year, that’s something to be very proud of. The challenge is to keep it up.”

Fleetwood also announced that the town had signed a new purchase power agreement that would run from January 2021 to the end of 2023. The agreement will mean slight decreases in costs to Berlin’s electric customers.

Residential customers are expected to see a savings of roughly $1.72 a month while general service electric customers will see savings of roughly $14.10 a month. Large customers will see savings of about $147 per month.

“That’s what we’re projecting,” Fleetwood said. “That’s good news.”

The agreement goes into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.