|Meet the City of Seymour Electric
“Committed to Quality and Service”
With approximately 50 miles of electric line to maintain, the four-member crew of the City Electric Department is always busy. Brad Tilley is the Department Head (Superintendent) and Supervisor of the crew, Rick Shumate is Foreman and Jay Barrington and Johnny Jackson work as linemen. The department members possess a combined 72 years of experience in the electric industry. This experience is put to use as they construct, maintain, repair, and generally oversee the entire distribution system of both overhead and underground electric system components. Day-to-day operations of the electric department include such tasks as changing out poles, reading the electric meters, repairing/replacing cross-arms and transformers and even trimming trees which threaten to pull down City lines. The Electric crew also performs ‘seasonal’ jobs such as hanging the popular City ‘Christmas Angel’ decorations.
|The members of the Electric
Department work exceptionally long hours during the storm season. The crew
is dedicated to making City electric reliable. This means putting in a great
deal of overtime to repair the damage that nature can inflict on the system.
After the March 2004 tornadic winds, the crew worked close to 54 hours straight
to re-establish all service. Most residences had light service re-established
within 12 hours.
Currently the Electric department is gearing up to relocate specific portions of the electric distribution system near the ‘Hwy 277 Realignment’ area, as well as the area for the new Farm-To-Market 422. These are major projects for the electric department (as well as the City water department) to physically move segments of the utility system. This relocation project will start in July, 2006.
The Electric Distribution System itself was purchased by the City of Seymour in 1985-86. The City purchased the system from Texas Electric Utility. This forward-thinking City Council, with Alderman (later Mayor) Nolan Davis in the lead, made the deal. The City took 15 years to pay it off and in fiscal year 2000-2001, the City of Seymour sent in the last payment and now owns the system completely.
The Electric industry is continually changing. The watchword for many years was ‘de-regulation’. Deregulation has not resulted in the decrease of electric costs for consumers as was predicted by the legislators. The City of Seymour was not required to and chose not to ‘opt-in’ to de-regulation when the privately-owned utilities did. These days, rising energy costs is the most formidable challenge for the City’s system. The cost of getting the electric power to our system’s ‘front door’ is getting more and more expensive.
Some citizens do not understand the value of the City electric and water system to the overall City budget. The electric and water sales provide far more revenue than the city property taxes do. The City of Seymour has an annual budget of more than five million dollars; most of this revenue related to our utility systems. This means that every time a citizen pays a utility bill, he is doing more than simply paying for the power that he used. His light bill payment also goes to providing revenue for the City to run elections, to pave the streets, to put up street signs, to pick up stray animals, to run the swimming pools for the kids in the summer, to spray for the mosquitoes and to hold ‘Clean Up Week’ twice a year. Revenue from our electric distribution utility enables the City to do all these things and many more.
The City Electric crew is also in the forefront of City and regional safety training efforts. Superintendent Tilley is the City Safety officer and conducts training with other city crews as well as with other electric system employees each month.
The Electric Department employees strive to make the service to customers better and more reliable than ever before and in so doing, make all our lives easier. No matter what the weather, when the lights go out, each citizen can count on the City Electric Department to bring him ‘back into the light’. The City of Seymour Electric Distribution system as you can see is committed to reliability, safety, quality and service for our citizens. The Department is committed to providing quality electric service to our customers now and well into the future.
Developed and Webmastered by Ralph W. Tobin • Running Turtle Studio
• Fort Worth, Texas