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Sylacauga Utilities Board hopes to promote next GM from within; updates on water sources and other projects


SYLACAUGA, Ala. – previously reported that Sylacauga Utilities Board (SUB) General Manager Mike Richard is retiring and taking a similar position with the Greer Commission of Public Works in Greer, S.C.

In Tuesday’s board meeting Richard officially announced to board members he would be retiring effective March 3. “I’ve enjoyed my time here,” said Richard to fellow board members. “I just think it’s time for me to do something a little different, and that’s what I plan on doing.”

SUB Chairman Dale Baker had high praise for the work Richard has done since his first day at SUB in 1991. “He’s done a great job since he came here in 1991,” stated Baker. “He’s been here 26 years, and has just done a super job.”

The process of finding the next general manager is very close to getting underway. Baker told that SUB is waiting on recommendations from Richard that will be presented to the board, and SUB will move forward from there. Baker also said the next general manger will hopefully promoted from within.

“Our intention is to fill the general manager position from within, and then see what other changes in responsibilities and titles we can make with those that are already here.” said Baker. He added SUB expects to have someone in place to take Richard’s role by March 3.

During the meeting, Operations Director Mitch Miller updated board members of the process SUB is making with what it hopes to be Sylacauga’s next source of potable water. Miller said the next step for the new well, which SUB plans to cap for future use, is a test called a dye tracer study. This test will ensure that the well is not under the direct influence of surface water. If all goes well, the final tests could take place as early as mid-to-late February. The new well will serve as a back-up to the Park Well and Pine Grove well.

Miller also announced that Lake Howard is back to fill-level and over-flowing, and added that Lake Virginia was never used during the drought at the end of last year.

SUB also announced that it is creating an easier way for customers to track their utility usage that will possibly be available by the beginning of March. The “customer web portal” will be an extension of the meter change-out that SUB did a few years ago. Customers will be able to create an account that will allow them to view not only power usage, but usage of all utilities at any given time.

SUB hopes to have the system show 13 months of history which will allow customers to see how the current month compares to the same month in the last year. SUB also thinks this will help home owners find leaks and other issues faster by allowing them to see spikes in the use of any utility in real time.

The system will also help with bill discrepancies. SUB said customers will be able to see everything SUB employees see on a computer to help people who pay bills by telephone.

Jeremy Law for | © 2017, City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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