No findings noted on FES audit; sign put on hold

by Benita Fuzzell

Members of the Fulton Electric System Board heard from Winston Truett with Alexander Thompson Arnold Monday night, regarding the Financial Statements and Supplementary Information for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018

Milton Dean, James Butts, Peggy Lohaus, Jeff Vaughn and Beth McWhirt were provided copies of the information, with Truett reporting the system is in “excellent shape” with total operating revenues at $5,652,586 for 2018, compared to $5,793,680 for 2017; operating income, ($75,504) for 2018 and $31,545 for 2017; change in net position, ($78,897) for 2018 and $32,466 in 2017. Operating revenue was reduced for 2018, to $5,652,586 from $5,793,680 in 2017, as a result of “construction and acquisition of plant”, something Truett said exhibited the system’s investment in assets, and choice to spend cash to run and improve Fulton Electric System.

Truett also reported the line loss percentage was “some of the lowest” and it could be determined from that percentage that the system was “compact”, with a “good job done maintaining.”

No findings were reported.

On a recommendation from Superintendent Luke Craddock, an item was deleted from the employee policy handbook, relating to an employee’s sick and vacation time.

The policy stated if an employee had depleted their sick and vacation time, then on written request by the employee the system may advance up to five days credit per year. All requests must be in writing and kept in the personnel file, with personal days not included in the credit balance. If the employee were to return to work, their sick leave will be reduced each month by the amount earned until the total advanced days or hours are repaid. If the employee did not return to work, the amount of advanced sick leave would be deducted from the monies owed to the employee or the amount would be reimbursed by the employee.

Craddock said he had found the policy unnecessary, and somewhat burdensome as to record keeping.

The board unanimously approved his recommendation.

Another suggestion from Craddock, however, was tabled by the board, regarding the discussion to purchase an LED sign for the Fulton Electric System office location on Walnut Street.

Craddock reported he had obtained pricing from two companies, one from Bluegrass Sign Group of Bardwell and one from Greer signs from Mayfield.

He and Business Office Manager Jeff Wade reported the sign could allow for more visibility and recognition as to locating the system, as well as allow for FES to display closures, outages, or community events by programing the sign.

Craddock suggested the recommendation of Bluegrass Sign Group, for $35,517.

Board member James Butts noted there is a high volume of traffic in the area of where the Broadway Dance Company and Post Office are located, and the sign would be highly visible to those who use the streets in that area to access East State Line.

Board member Peggy Lohaus voiced her concerns in regard to the price.

“I just worry about the customers who are having a hard time right now and the public perception” Lohaus said, referring to the quoted figure.

The motion was amended by Lohaus and seconded by McWhirt to table the matter until which time Craddock could seek out the options of similar signage. Lohaus, McWhirt, Dean and Vaughn voted yes, with Butts voting no.

Craddock will report back to the board regarding further research on other options for signage.

In other action, the board approved the transfer of $414,825.79 from the revolving fund to the operating and maintenance fund, which will include the payment of the power bill, $291,314.86, payroll at $50,000, sales tax, $13,897.80, Fulton Board of Education, school tax, $11,632.21 and Fulton County Board of Education, school tax, $563.39.

A transfer was also approved from the depreciation fund to the operations fund for the new truck, in the amount of $32,369. Craddock reported there had been quite a bit of interest in the Ford Ranger pickup truck for sale and up for bid by FES, with all bids to be received by Dec. 21 at 9 a.m.

A motion was made, and seconded to adjourn from open public session into closed executive session for the purpose of discussion of deliberation of the acquisition of property industrial prospect, litigation and personnel, with no action reported upon return to open session.

Board attorney Rebecca Biehslich was present for the meeting.