Power Board OKs hiring of CPA firm, funding for CEO Search Committee

Thursday, February 22, 2024

RACHEL TOWNSEND

rtownsend@stategazette.com

The Power Board convened Wednesday, February 21, to discuss a brief agenda including discussion regarding higher-than-normal electric bills in January, the hiring of a CPA firm for the company’s pension and financial audits, and approval of funding for the CEO Search Committee.

Board members present included Chairman David Hayes, Rawlin Fowlkes, Tommy Allmon, and Dennis Moody.

Others in attendance were City Attorney John Lannom, Dyersburg Electric Systems [DES]President/CEO Stephen Lane, Dyersburg Electric V.P. of Finance/Secretary Robby Richards, DES V.P. of Construction and Maintenance Jake Weatherly, and Dyersburg Electric V.P. of Information Technology Alan Davis.

Absent: Walt Bradshaw

Request of funding for the CEO Search Committee

Although not on the agenda, board members discussed and voted on a funding request from Bradshaw for $15K for expenses related to the CEO Search Committee. In Bradshaw’s absence, the request was brought into discussion by Hayes. Funds would be used to secure the services of an agency to locate applicants, conduct preliminary interviews, and advertise the position, according to Hayes. A motion to approve funding the Search Committee $15K was made by Moody and seconded by Fowlkes.

In addition to Bradshaw, who serves as chairman of the Search Committee, the remaining members of the committee include Dyersburg-Dyer County Chamber of Commerce CEO Slater Barr, Security Bank CEO Jennifer Nunley, former ERMCO CEO Bill Reffert, and First Citizens Bancshares Executive VP Sherrell Armstrong.

Financial report

Richards noted that January’s cold temperatures drove up electric bills higher than normal.

“We may not have citizen input here today, but we’ve had citizen input at the counter and over the phones the past few weeks,” said Richards. “I believe today’s billing—we will finally be billing out the last of the cold weather.”

Richards went on to report that electric revenues were $3.3M with costs of $2.9M.

Uncollectable debt charge-off

On a motion made by Allmon and seconded by Fowlkes, the board approved an uncollectable debt charge-off for $326.03.

Audit

Presented by Lane, the board approved a motion hiring CRS CPAs to perform both DES’s pension audits and financial audits for a total cost of $22,500.

Nursing Mother’s Policy

Presented by Lane was a policy supporting employees, who are nursing mothers, when they return to work after the birth of a child. The policy outlines “reasonable breaks and appropriate space in the workplace to express breast milk.”

The policy goes on to state:

“When needed, a space will be temporarily created or converted into a space appropriate for expressing milk. The space will be shielded from view and free from any intrusion from coworkers and the public. The space will be equipped with a chair, a flat surface (such as a table), an electric outlet, and able to [be] lock[ed] from inside. The space will not be a bathroom. This will ensure a comfortable, private environment for the nursing mother.”

Mothers will be allowed two 15-minute paid breaks in addition to unpaid breaks, if necessary. Employees will not be disturbed by any member of the faculty while expressing milk.

A motion was made by Fowlkes to accept the policy. The motion was seconded by Moody, with all others voting in favor.

Accident Report

Richards noted DES employees have worked 2,433 hours accident-free. He said the company’s record time for remaining accident-free is 12-1/2 years. Currently, DES is halfway toward achieving its record.

President’s report

Lane said DES will soon begin to build off the other half of the Fort Hudson sub-station. He noted costs of the project were expected to be low. He said much of the work would be done internally by DES’s own staff of professional engineers to cut costs.

In closing, Lane requested the March meeting be moved from March 20 to March 27.

With no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

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