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The Pulaski Electric System Board of Directors approved a plan to transfer $440,000 from its pension plan funding budget for recommended use in broadband infrastructure at its Aug. 24 meeting.

As the company’s pension funding is in an unusually strong position, an actuary recommended funding of $200,000 per year going forward while projecting the plan would remain fully funded for the next 25 years at that rate assuming asset returns of 7 percent per year.

The company was previously funding its pension plan at $840,000 per year, leading to the Power Board striking a middle ground of $400,000 in funding this year with a plan to reassess the funding next year. Meanwhile the budgeted $440,000 will go toward fiber expansion, which Interim CEO Scott Newton explained “will be an electric asset to improve our electrical system with things such as reading AMI meters, monitoring substations, monitoring electric usage, etc. The connection from a pole to the home is a broadband asset but the main build is still in the electric division budget.”

Financial Reports

The board approved the financial reports for the month of July, the first of the new fiscal year.

The board heard the Electric Division financials were largely positive with five of eight categories favorable to budget.

Revenue was unfavorable to budget, as it has been for most of the pandemic, by $182,181. This was somewhat offset by purchase power coming in at $44,277 favorable to budget. Margin was $130,928 unfavorable to budget, but capital was $203,337 favorable to budget as was cash flow surplus at $82,939 favorable.

In the Broadband Division, four of seven categories were unfavorable to budget, but among those positive categories were revenue and margin.

Revenue came in at $10,959 favorable, while margin was $17,018 favorable. Among the unfavorable categories were capital at $3,565 unfavorable and cash flow surplus at $2,987 unfavorable.

In other business, the board:

• Approved Operating Policy 3-31 over COVID-19 response.

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