Notice of Interruption of Water Service/Boil Water Advisory

On Thursday, 6/22/17, there will be an interruption of water service from 6 P.M. until 12 A.M. in the following areas:

·       593,594,600,610 E. Main St.

·       109,111 Allnut Dr

Immediately following there will be a Boil Water Advisory.

A vigorous boil for at least two minutes is recommended. This Boil Water Advisory is a precautionary measure due to a loss of pressure in the water main caused by Plant Board crews replacing a tee and a valve.

This Advisory will remain in effect until lab analysis of water samples taken confirms that the potable water supply in the affected area is safe to drink. You will receive a notice when the advisory is lifted.

If you have any questions concerning the Boil Water Advisory, please call 352-4372.

FPB Board takes care of business at June meeting

FPB’s June Board meeting was chock full of business action items Tuesday night. In addition to approving the 2017-18 budget, the board also approved multiple annual price contracts, rate changes and new business service options. In addition, the board accepted a report from Energy + Environmental Economics, Inc. (E3), a consultant hired to analyze the risks and benefits of FPB’s participation in the Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency (KyMEA).

After participating in three public meetings to discuss budget needs, answering questions, and taking direction from board members, FPB staff presented its final budget proposal to the board. The budget and the encompassing five-year financial plan focus on bringing value to customers. The goal is to maintain system infrastructure that will provide reliable services at affordable, competitive rates while ensuring a sound company financial position.

In addition to staff’s recommendations, the board proposed initiatives to fund. These included potential energy efficiency programs, credit/debit card payment processing services, moving the timeline of Advanced Metering Infrastructure implementation from 2019 to 2018, considering colocation options for the data centers, and re-examining the employee compensation plan.

The board unanimously approved the budget that will go into effect July 1, 2017.

On June 6, 2017, FPB held public hearings to discuss proposed rate changes for electric and water services and to establish rates for new business telephone features and service. No oral or written comments were received. The board approved all proposed rate changes and optional additional business services.

Kentucky Utilities has notified FPB of an estimated 7.08 percent wholesale rate increase, including projected ash pond cleanup costs effective July 1, 2017. This would be a 5.2 - 5.9 percent retail increase depending on the specific rate class with an estimated increase of $6.71 per month for the average residential customer. This increase is a 100 percent pass-thru to KU. None of that increase would stay at FPB.

A recent Cost of Service study indicates water revenues fall short of revenue requirements. In an effort to minimize larger future rate increases, FPB staff recommended smaller annual incremental rate increases over the next four years. The recommended 4.8 percent overall rate increase averages to approximately $1.90 per residential city customer who uses 4,000 gallons of water per month. The average commercial customer using approximately 30,000 gallons of water will see an increase of about $6.25 per month. FPB currently provides water to its customers for about a dollar a day. The new water rates are proposed to be effective August 1, 2017.

FPB staff has received requests from customers and potential customers for additional features with the Business Telephone Service. Added features will enhance the service and give business customers more options. Hosted PBX service will provide an internet-based phone service solution that will help small business get big business features and help big businesses control phone service and costs more efficiently. These additional features and services are optional and will be available August 1, 2017 to FPB Business Telephone customers.

In response to community and FPB board concerns, in April 2017, FPB hired E3 to analyze the economic and contractual risks and benefits of FPB’s participation in KyMEA. At a special meeting on June 13, consultant Michele Chait presented the report’s findings, including a list of recommendations.

At its regular June meeting, the board accepted the report and approved 11 motions based on E3’s recommendations. FPB’s Board of Directors requested KyMEA’s board review the comments and provide a preliminary response by August 4, 2017. KyMEA is scheduled to meet Thursday, June 22 in Bowling Green. Assistant General Manager Vent Foster reminded board members and the public that anyone can view KyMEA board materials from FPB’s website (http://fpb.cc/electric)

In other business, the board approved annual price contracts for water treatment chemicals, tree trimming services, wood poles, ductile iron pipe, fittings, valves, hydrants and tapping services. The board also approved a contract renewal for cable installation services to assist in the installation of cable TV, telephone and broadband products.

In order to meet city requirements, the board executed a contract to construct a sidewalk and bus pad at the new location on Flynn Avenue. FPB will also add landscaping in parking areas there.

The FPB Board of Directors’ July monthly meeting will be Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 5 p.m. at the FPB administration building at 151 Flynn Ave in Frankfort.

Downtown Outage - 6/18/17

We have broken poles near Wapping and Washington. Crews are on the way to make repairs. There are associates outages as a result. Stay tuned for updates.  

UPDATE: 4:45 PM - FPB crews are working on 3 broken poles downtown. Affected areas include Wapping St., Washington St., Wilkinson Blvd. and Watson Ct. May take several hours to repair.  

UPDATE: 8:30 PM - Downed tree on Wapping has been removed. FPB crews are now working to reset new poles and run new lines.  

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FPB opens new office on East-West Connector on June 19

Downtown office closed.

The Frankfort Plant Board is making big moves to improve the customer experience. This starts with moving operations to 151 Flynn Ave. on the East-West Connector. Opening day is Monday, June 19.

The downtown office, where FPB had been located for more than 50 years, closed its doors Thursday, June 15, for the last time.

The new facility offers amenities designed to increase convenience for customers – like drive-thru service, front door parking and a drop box for payments at the front turnabout.

The expanded indoor reception area includes a spacious cashier area and private customer service stations.

The community room is available for public use. It includes access to A/V presentation equipment, a commercial kitchen, public restrooms, and an outdoor terrace with picnic tables.

Office hours will remain the same at the new location, 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The South Route bus will stop at the new location every hour on the hour between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Customers may also continue to make FPB payments at United Bank, Whitaker Bank and Republic Bank. Cycle 1 customers’ due date is the first of the month. Cycle 2 customers’ due date is the 15th of the month. Late payments will not be accepted at the bank locations.

E3 analysis of KyMEA contract presented at open meeting

Consultant makes recommendations for FPB’s participation

At a special meeting Tuesday, the FPB Board of Directors heard presentations discussing the Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency (KyMEA). Consultants, KyMEA members and other interested groups and community members took the opportunity to discuss and respond to recommendations, ask questions and voice concerns about FPB’s participation in KyMEA.

In 205, FPB gave notice to Kentucky Utilities (KU) that it would no longer purchase power through KU once its contract expires in 2019. Since 2009, KU has engaged an annual wholesale electric rate increase charged to FPB. The latest proposed 5.9 percent residential increase, effective July 1, 2017, is a 100 percent pass-thru to KU. None of that increase would stay at FPB.

In an effort to obtain a more economical, flexible and environmentally responsible power supply, FPB executed an agreement with nine other municipal utilities in the state creating KyMEA. The group’s overarching goal is to provide lower, more competitive costs while offering flexibility to its members to achieve community expectations. Taking advantage of the group’s purchasing power, KyMEA conducted competitive power supply procurements and analyses of alternatives to assemble a diverse and cost-effective supply portfolio.

According to FPB staff, participation in KyMEA will improve the Board’s ability to set and adjust its energy course as the community sees fit in the years to come. With this change, there is an estimated $15 million reduction in wholesale power costs in the first three years of participation. As a KyMEA member, FPB expects to maintain rates at levels below the national and regional averages and reduce the recent trend of large annual electric rate increases.

In response to community and FPB board concerns, in April 2017, FPB hired Energy + Environmental Economics, Inc. (E3), a San Francisco-based consultancy specializing in the analysis of electricity sector economics, to analyze the economic and contractual risks and benefits of FPB’s participation in KyMEA.

At the meeting, E3 consultant Michele Chait confirmed that power costs will likely be lower through KyMEA than KU service. In fact, using conservative assumptions, E3 projects KyMEA service to be lower cost than projected KU costs through 2029. However, Chait did question if KyMEA has assembled the least cost portfolio and if renewables had been adequately considered.

She also voiced concern over excess capacity procured citing that if the KyMEA load does not grow and/or agency members cannot re-sell capacity at a high price, members may pay an additional $4-$5 million annually into 2022. Chait suggested because there is currently no transparency of procurement methodology that KyMEA conduct an Integrated Resource Plan. This is essentially a comprehensive blueprint to address peak and energy demand, in addition to supply and procurement goals over a specific period of time.

Other concerns Chait discussed include a lack of agency communication with members, the ability of All Requirements (AR) members to determine procurement, hedging and customer programs (like energy efficiency), cost allocation among members and other ambiguities in the contract that she suggested should be resolved.

Chait said she appreciated the open and positive dialogue she experienced with the agency and members during her two-day stay in Frankfort and encouraged a continuation of that communication among KyMEA members and consultants.

In response to the E3 analysis, consultants representing KyMEA assured the board that it would address the concerns and revise the contract to make clarifications. Fred Haddad, with nFront Consulting, also pointed out that in addition to providing a lower cost option than FPB’s current contract with KU, the AR contract does not limit the implementation of or provide disincentives for energy efficiency programs or grid-scale renewable energy procurement.

Haddad also assured the board of the benefits FPB would realize as a KyMEA member. These benefits include lower, more competitive wholesale power costs, flexibility to incorporate renewables and implement other programs on a more economic scale, direct involvement by all members in decisions impacting power supply and flexibility in KyMEA contracts to meet local power supply-related objectives.

Terry Naulty, general manager of Owensboro Municipal Utilities (OMU), joined the discussion to present a member’s point of view. OMU is the only KyMEA member which generates its own power. As OMU is set to retire its two power plants in the coming years, it is looking to KyMEA as a viable option for its future power supply and access to economies of scale that OMU can’t realize individually.

Naulty expressed OMU’s support of KyMEA’s power supply portfolio saying that it was responsive to member communities. He said KyMEA was designed to meet the needs of its members and that local control is a cornerstone of public power and the agency. Naulty emphasized that KyMEA is not a “risk warehouse” and that the agency must allocate financial and performance risk to its members.

Naulty also stressed the importance of renewables, distributed resources and efficiency improvement, as they will be more cost effective and material in KyMEA. He said significant flexibility has been designed into the KyMEA portfolio to permit inclusion of these options. Member communities can embrace all or some initiatives with known cost implications.

The final presentation was made by Andy McDonald of EnvisionFranklinCounty. In months past, the group has shown opposition to moving forward with the KyMEA contract. McDonald cited similar concerns reported by E3 – ambiguities within the contract, lack of transparency on how rates will be determined and All Requirements members automatically committed to portfolio without input.

The board has the opportunity to accept the E3 report as final at its next regular monthly meeting on June 20.

FPB staff discusses budget needs with Board of Directors

Board members make recommendations for final plan due at end of June

In dual sessions on Tuesday and Wednesday, Frankfort Plant Board staff presented its proposed 2018 Annual Operating Budget to its Board of Directors. The budget and the encompassing five-year financial plan focus on bringing value to customers. The goal is to maintain system infrastructure that will provide reliable services at affordable, competitive rates while ensuring a sound company financial position.

FPB Finance Director David Denton, CPA led the budget review by starting with an overview of the company and the budget process. He noted that FPB is a non-profit Special Purpose Governmental Entity (SPGE) that is not a component of the City of Frankfort. As an SPGE, FPB must have a board-approved budget prior to the start of the fiscal year on July 1. The approved budget must be submitted to the Kentucky Department for Local Government.

Denton described the four components of the budget as operating costs, infrastructure costs, debt service payments and reserve fund requirements. Each department (Electric, Water and Cable/Telecom) took the opportunity to present its budgetary needs to the Board.

During the next 10 years, the electric division will continue to perform upgrades of transmission/distribution lines and facilities, specifically breaker replacements and implementations of Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) and additional smart grid technologies. By 2019, FPB electric will finalize the system voltage conversion. Converting the entire distribution system to one voltage has been a 30+ year project that will improve voltage quality, load capacity and switching flexibility. It will also reduce transformer and inventory costs.

The electric division will continue animal guard installation, tree trimming and spray programs to maintain low incidences of tree-related outages. FPB maintains reliability indices about four times better than the national average, and the aggressive line maintenance and tree-trimming program contribute to that success.

Kentucky Utilities will continue to implement annual rate changes that the Board must pass on to its customers. This pass thru and periodic cost-of-service studies ensure that the Board’s retail rates will generate adequate revenue based on consideration of wholesale power costs through KU, operating expenses, as well as adequate working capital and reserves.

In 2019-20, FPB will change power suppliers from KU to the Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency (KyMEA). FPB will join with other municipal utilities to take control of their own power supply. This will improve the Board’s ability to set and adjust its energy course as the community sees fit in the years to come. With this change, there is an estimated $5 million reduction in wholesale power costs in each of the last three years of the budget plan. Additionally, FPB expects to maintain rates at levels below the national and regional averages and reduce the recent trend of large annual electric rate increases.

The water division is focused on maintaining and improving the aging infrastructure of the water system. To that end, major initiatives of this fiscal year include enhancing water quality and flow characteristics through the systematic elimination of dead ends, the replacement of deteriorating mains, and the addition of mixing systems in our tanks; completing Phase 1 of the reservoir replacement project; and continuing to replace aging subsystems original to the water treatment plant.

Replacing the reservoir will require additional financing in order to maintain acceptable cash flow and reserve levels. The water division faces rising operational costs, minimum reserve levels established by the Board, and higher debt service requirements through 2020 due to recent debt financed capital additions.

In addition to rising operational costs, the water division has continued to see water consumption drop by approximately 1 percent per year due to customer conservation efforts, more efficient appliances, and sewer rates linked to water usage that are almost two times the water rate. Based on these challenges, the need to implement regular rate adjustments annually is anticipated.

Denton warned that careful attention needs to be paid to spending decisions that impact the water division, as there is a deficit in cash reserves for the division. The five-year financial plan projects a decrease in the water reserve shortfall as incremental rate increases are implemented and debt is retired. The water division is estimated to have a positive cash reserve position in year five of the budget.

Staff recommended the primary focus of cable/telecom division through FY2018 should be the outside plant infrastructure improvements. These improvements would replace end-of-life amplifiers and line extenders, which has an immediate impact on system reliability. These replacements would increase the system capability to provide faster and more reliable broadband and to offer potentially required 4K broadcast TV channels to customers.

In the first quarter of the new fiscal year, FPB’s infrastructure improvement consultants will present recommendations to the Board. Staff expects to spend a portion of the year engaging community stakeholders to determine the best path forward to improve the telecommunications infrastructure with a fiscally responsible, customer-oriented plan. Before the end of the fiscal year, staff expects to retain an engineering firm to design FPB’s 21st Century network design. The proposed budget includes funds for the initial design in year one with additional funds designated in years two through five.

As more video products move to the internet, cable TV service staff has budgeted for subscriber losses in all video products throughout the five-year plan. The rollout of the TiVo product is an effort to bring value to a segment of the subscriber base.

Cable TV programming costs will continue to increase throughout the five-year plan. The required renewal of all Lexington and Louisville broadcast stations is a particular concern in FY2018. Staff has planned for significant increases in broadcast TV cost as negotiations begin in September and must conclude by Dec. 31, 2017. Staff recommended eliminating duplicate network affiliates in order to control cost.

In an effort to slow the cable TV subscription losses, staff recommended absorbing cable TV programming increases throughout the five-year plan. Not passing these increases to subscribers equates to $15 per subscriber savings per month, at the conclusion of the five-year plan.

Staff did not recommend absorbing the cost of broadcast channel pass thru fees through the retransmission consent process, but seeks to limit these increases through the removal of the duplicate broadcast networks.

Modest growth is anticipated in broadband and high capacity Ethernet services. If funds for the outside plant infrastructure upgrades are approved, staff anticipates faster internet speeds will be rolled out to the subscriber base on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood basis as the infrastructure improvements are completed.

Staff proposed increasing the multi-service discount on broadband service to those customers who subscribe to broadband, cable TV and/or phone service. This would go into effect January 2018.

Residential landlines continue to decrease nationwide as more customers use mobile devices. FPB expects businesses to keep lines and looks to gain customers as incumbent telephone providers exit the market in the next three to five years. By selling voice, internet and security packages to business customers and improving product offerings though Hosted PBX solutions, staff expects to provide business products that save customers money and bring more value to offset residential phone losses.

The Board also reviewed budget presentations from directors in the companywide administration including Human Resources, Customer Service, Meter Reading, Support Services, Fleet Services, Finance, Information Technology, Safety and Public Information.

After hearing staff presentations, the Board made recommendations on language and initiatives to consider in the upcoming budget. These included moving the timeline of AMI implementation from 2019 to 2018, considering colocation options for the data centers, utilizing energy efficiency opportunities, setting up infrastructure to accept credit card payments, implementing a customer survey for feedback on cable skinny bundles, re-examining the employee compensation plan, planning for sidewalks at the new building and exploring energy assistance programs.

FPB staff will incorporate these recommendations and present the final draft of the budget at the Board’s regular monthly meeting on June 20.

Planned Cable/Telecom Outage - 6/9/17

On Friday, 6/9/17, FPB has three scheduled outages affecting cable/telecom services from 4 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.

Due to the KY Wired project, we have to lower our cable/telecom lines. The following areas will be effected:

Bentwood’s Subdivision

Silver Creek Subdivision

Briar Patch Subdivision

Old Lawrenceburg

Jones Ln.

Shady Acres Trailer Park

Twilight Trail

 

Due to a pole transfer, cable/telecom services will be effected in the following areas:

Altamont Dr.

Owsley Ave

Commonwealth Ave

Reservoir Rd.

Hay Ave

Tanglewood Dr.

 

Due to a broken cable, the following areas will be effected:

Fair Oaks

Oaklawn Dr.

Audubon Dr.

701 – 980 Wilkinson Blvd.

Frazier Rd.

Leestown Ln.

Walter Todd

Greenbriar Ln.

Cherry Dr.

Rosewood Ln.

Redbud Ln.  

FPB holds public hearings on rate changes

The Frankfort Plant Board held public hearings Tuesday night to discuss proposed rate changes for electric and water services and to establish rates for new business telephone features and service.

Since 2009, Kentucky Utilities (KU) has engaged an annual formulated rate mechanism. This allows KU to change the wholesale electric rate charged to FPB based on KU’s actual charges incurred. Kentucky Utilities has notified FPB of an estimated 7.08 percent wholesale rate increase, including projected ash pond cleanup costs effective July 1, 2017. This would be a 5.9 percent residential increase estimated to cost residential electric customers an average increase of $6.71 per month. This increase is a 100 percent pass-thru to KU. None of that increase would stay at FPB.

A recent Cost of Service study indicates water revenues fall short of revenue requirements. In an effort to minimize larger future rate increases, FPB staff recommended smaller annual incremental rate increases over the next four years. The recommended 4.8 percent overall rate increase averages to approximately $1.90 per residential city customer who uses 4,000 gallons of water per month. The average commercial customer using approximately 30,000 gallons of water will see an increase of about $6.25 per month. FPB currently provides water to its customers for about a dollar a day. The new water rates are proposed to be effective August 1, 2017.

FPB staff has received requests from customers and potential customers for additional features with the Business Telephone Service. Added features will enhance the service and give business customers more options. Hosted PBX service will provide an internet-based phone service solution that will help small business get big business features and help big businesses control phone service and costs more efficiently. These features would be optional and in addition to the current Business Telephone offerings.

Public comments will be accepted no later than Monday, June 19, 2017. The public may call 352-4372 or submit comments on FPB’s website at www.fpb.cc. The board is scheduled to vote on these proposals at its regular monthly meeting on June 20, 2017 at 5 p.m. at the FPB administration building at 151 Flynn Ave. in Frankfort.

View Electric Notice

View Water Notice

View Cable Notice

 

Hydrant Flushing 5/31/17

The Frankfort Plant Board is conducting its annual hydrant flushing. Flushing is necessary to maintain the integrity and quality of the distribution system and to ensure hydrants are functioning properly. This will also allow FPB to obtain fire-fighting flow information, which is shared with the city and county fire departments.

We ask that motorists please use caution in the flushing area due to possible water in the roadway. Some discoloration may occur in your tap water. This is normal. If discoloration persists after running your faucet for a short time, please call 352-4372.

Hydrant flushing areas for May 31 are:

Duckers Point

Duckers Village

Governor’s Place

Public gets new information on FPB headend/reservoir property

FPB gives community opportunity for input and discussion

Consultants presented new information on the headend/reservoir projects to the Frankfort Plant Board and the public at a special meeting Tuesday night. The board voted last fall to approve spending $860,000 for a new fence, demolition of the existing parking structure and landscaping at the Tanglewood property. At the Tuesday meeting, the board reviewed other options at the site that could run up to $3 million.

Adam Weber of Strand Associates, an engineering consulting firm that has assessed the reservoir since 2007, presented six 3-D renderings of roof options for the new water reservoir tank – two views of the three different roof options, one with a retaining wall and one without.

Staff discussed the cost implications of the different construction options. The estimated cost for replacing the tanks is $4 million. This cost includes a standard 1/10th rise free-span concrete dome. The 1/16th rise free-span concrete dome would cut the height of the standard dome by seven feet and would add $500,000 to the project. The column-supported flat roof has a more complicated design, will raise the sidewall by approximately two feet and will cost an additional $1.75 million to construct.

The 3-D roof option renderings will be available for the public to access from FPB’s website on Thursday, June 1.

Aaron Nickerson of GRW, an engineering, architectural and geospatial consulting firm, presented seven fencing options for the Tanglewood property. He also provided cost estimate comparisons ranging from nearly $600,000 to nearly $1 million that include fence construction, demolition of the parking structure, landscaping, design fees and the estimated costs of relocating utilities, if necessary. Once GRW completes a site survey identifying the location of existing utilities, FPB will make that information available to the public. This will aid in making final determinations for fence options.

Members of the community had the opportunity at the meeting to voice concerns and ask questions of the consultants, FPB staff and board members. The board plans to provide more information to the public as it becomes available with hopes of further public discussions later this month.

Playback of Tuesday night's meeting will air on FPB-TV channel 10 on Wednesday at 8 p.m.

Upcoming FPB public meetings include a budget review at 1 p.m. on June 6, 2017 and a public hearing to set rates at 5 p.m. also on June 6 at the FPB administration building at 151 Flynn Ave in Frankfort.

Hydrant Flushing 5/30/17

The Frankfort Plant Board is conducting its annual hydrant flushing. Flushing is necessary to maintain the integrity and quality of the distribution system and to ensure hydrants are functioning properly. This will also allow FPB to obtain fire-fighting flow information, which is shared with the city and county fire departments.

 

We ask that motorists please use caution in the flushing area due to possible water in the roadway. Some discoloration may occur in your tap water. This is normal. If discoloration persists after running your faucet for a short time, please call 352-4372.

 

Hydrant flushing areas for May 30 are:

Springhill Subdivision

Buena Vista

Woodsway

Duckers

Duckers Village

Louisville Rd.

Hydrant Flushing 5/26/17

The Frankfort Plant Board is conducting its annual hydrant flushing. Flushing is necessary to maintain the integrity and quality of the distribution system and to ensure hydrants are functioning properly. This will also allow FPB to obtain fire-fighting flow information, which is shared with the city and county fire departments.

 

We ask that motorists please use caution in the flushing area due to possible water in the roadway. Some discoloration may occur in your tap water. This is normal. If discoloration persists after running your faucet for a short time, please call 352-4372.

 

Hydrant flushing areas for May 26 are:

Springhill Subdivision

Buena Vista

Woodsway

Duckers

Duckers Village

Louisville Rd.

Game Farm

Willowcrest

National Guard