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The Pulaski Electric System Board of Directors unanimously approved the requisition of Schweitzer brand relays for an upcoming Primary Substation upgrade at its Sept. 22 meeting.

The planned upgrade is nearing its outage window after three labor and material bids were accepted by the Power Board in a May 21 meeting. According to PES, the extensive work will improve the substation’s safety and reliability. Among the work to be done is replacing insulators, switches and lightning arresters at the 161Kv, 46Kv and 13Kv levels. In addition, all of the ABB Relays in the control house, which were installed in 2004, will be replaced. A 46Kv breaker and a 46Kv neutral reactor will also be replaced while areas in the yard that are eroding will be fixed.

The requisition totaled $63,637, just $700 more than the budgetary estimate.

Board member Pat Ford said he was in favor of the requisition but requested more information on why only Schweitzer brand relays were bid out and whether this was the proper procedure.

“If there are other companies out there who sell this same product, how do you go exclusively with one?” Ford asked.

The PES personnel at the meeting explained that the reason ABB and Cooper relays were not being considered was due to past experiences with those two brands and that Schweitzer best met the needs of the project.

“The recommendation comes from our years of experience and that of our engineering firm concerning the reliability of this product,” PES CEO Richard Kelley said.

PES Attorney Andy Hoover said this was sufficient grounds, and the motion was passed unanimously.

Financial Reports

The company’s financial reports revealed positive results across the board with all categories favorable to budget in the electric division.

Revenue for the month of August was $4,100,154, more than $15,000 favorable to budget.

“This was the first month since February that we were favorable to our revenue budget, so it’s a good turn in a trend there. Across all revenue classes, we’re seeing volume continue to come back from the pandemic,” PES CFO Bobby Jones said.

Margin was favorable to the budget by more than $345,000, while cash flow surplus was more than $480,000 favorable.

In the broadband division, seven of eight categories were favorable to budget with only cost of goods sold listed at a marginal difference of $204.

Revenue for the month of August was $310,402, more than $7,600 favorable to budget. Margin was more than $7,400 favorable, and cash-flow surplus was more than $24,000 favorable.

The financial reports were approved unanimously.

Kelley also notified the board that the company would be receiving a 12-month Tennessee Valley Authority credit at around $49,000 per month for a total of approximately $587,000. The credits will begin appearing on the November invoice and will continue for the final eight months of the current fiscal year and the first four months of the next year.

TVA Community Care Fund

While no action was necessary at the Sept. 22 meeting, Kelley alerted the Board that PES would once again have the opportunity to participate in the TVA Community Care Fund which partners with local power companies to provide matching funds to support local initiatives that address hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic. PES had previously participated at the $10,000 level and will have the opportunity to do so again in the coming months.

The funds to participate do not have to come directly from PES, so if the city, county or a local group wanted to partner to provide the $10,000, TVA would match those funds.

“The reason I went ahead and brought that up is because that money that we made available to the community is one reason our aging report, I feel, looks the way it does. Those funds were there to help people who have never had to ask for help before,” Kelley said.

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