Siloam Springs Herald Leader
Utility commission holds first meeting
The Siloam Springs utility commission held its first meeting on Thursday, Jan. 26, at City Hall.
New utility commissioners Jody Wiggins, Bernadette Keck, David Neff, Alyssa Weyl and Herbie Galicia were sworn in by City Clerk Renea Ellis. The utility commission will meet on the last Thursday of the month, according to City Administrator Phillip Patterson.
In attendance for the first meeting were Patterson, Director of Public Works Steve Gorszczyk, Electric Department Phil Stokes and Electric Superintendents John Bland and Glenn Severn.
Patterson introduced the five commissioners and the city personnel in attendance before reviewing Ordinance 22-23 which established the utility commission.
Then Patterson discussed training and topics for future meetings, which included urging the commissioners to read Chapter 82 of the city code concerning solid waste and Chapter 98 of the city code regarding utilities.
Also included in the training will be tours of the water treatment plant, wastewater treatment plant and the sanitation transfer center; overview of the water, wastewater distribution system and water district boundaries, Patterson said.
There will also be an overview of the electrical distribution system and service territory and hearing a presentation with Dan Sullivan, the president of the Grand River Dam Authority (GRDA), and the commissioners will be required to attend Retail Water Provider Training, per Arkansas Act 605 of 2021.
Patterson covered different topics the commissioners will discuss including utility rates, history of utility rates for the city and the 2021 rate study; utility billing and disconnects; the city’s current solar policy, annexations and Carroll County Electric Cooperative contract buyouts for new residents annexed into the city.
Commissioners will also look at the 69 KV electric line upgrade, waste management program and the green energy program the city has looked into.
After discussing these topics with the commissioners, Patterson had the commissioners choose a chairperson of the board and vice chair. The commissioners elected Neff as chairperson of the board and Galicia as vice chair.
Patterson also told the commissioners that there were instructions in their personal email accounts to set up their city email accounts and gave the group email email@example.com.
The utility commission then adjourned for the evening.