Last week's news that Middle Tennessee Electric Membership Cooperative was in negotiations with the city Murfreesboro of to purchase its electric distribution system raised many questions in the community. "We have fielded numerous phone calls and questions on the street from citizens wondering how it would impact their service and rates if the electric cooperative were to take over operation of Murfreesboro Electric Department," says Steve Sax, MED general manager.
"I want to assure our customers that MED's commitment to reliable service and stable rates will remain our top priority through what will certainly be a long process," Sax says.
MED is owned by the City of Murfreesboro and operated by an appointed board of directors.
Dr. Jean Anne Rogers currently chairs the board. "We are very early in this process," says Rogers. "A memorandum of understanding was signed between the cooperative and the City on Friday, and our board, management and employees learned of it that afternoon. The most important thing our customers can know at this moment is that we will practice due diligence throughout this process. As board members, the citizens have entrusted us with acting in the best interest of their electric distribution system, and we will continue to do the job we are charged with."
Amy Byers with Murfreesboro Electric told WGNS...
For the moment, that job includes remaining focused on what has made MED one of the most financially sound, efficient municipal electric systems in the country. "We have some of the best public power employees in America," says Sax, "and they work hard each day to build and maintain a reliable system that provides our citizens with top-quality service. And they do so with a strong commitment to safety -- not only keeping our citizens safe, but also making sure every employee works in an environment that may be hazardous at times but where they can go home safe and whole to their families each evening."
MED was recently honored by the American Public Power Association (APPA) with its RP3 award, which recognizes utilities demonstrating high proficiency in reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement. Criteria within each of the four RP3 areas are based on sound business practices and recognized industry-leading practices.
The national APPA conference is scheduled for early June. Several board members and management will be in attendance, where they will learn about various topics from other industry leaders and other municipal systems throughout the nation.
"We realize the public wants answers, and we will provide them as this process unfolds," says Amy Byers, MED's director of marketing. "Our customers need to know three things: One, it is still very early in the process; two, our focus remains on quality of service, reliability and safety; and three, we will move forward with the same commitment that has driven this company for 75 years -- to take care of the citizens and businesses of the great city of Murfreesboro."