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08/11/2005 ~ The Utility Board awarded the contract for the outsourcing of utility bills to Barrett & Company, Inc., effective October 1, 2005, for an estimated annual cost of $127,848.90.

Keys Energy Services (KEYS) will outsource the printing, stuffing and mailing of its bills while meter reading and bill calculation will remain functions of KEYS staff. Outsourcing these functions to a vendor with experience will allow KEYS to free internal resources for other purposes; however, it will not result in a loss of jobs. Additionally, the cost benefit analysis revealed that in-house processing costs, including equipment, paper supplies, and postage, currently total $162,615.00 annually. By subcontracting the printing and processing of utility bills, the Board will save its rate payers approximately $35,000.00 by utilizing the discounted rates of a contractor with the buying power to reduce costs.

Since 1998, KEYS has prepared statement bills using insertion equipment that has historically been difficult to maintain. KEYS initially owned the equipment and then leased the equipment hoping that maintenance would improve - it did not. KEYS Staff decided several months ago to ascertain the availability and cost effectiveness of outsourcing these services.

In other business, the Board:

- Reviewed and discussed the 2005-2006 Budget and Financial Plan in a Workshop Session. The Utility Board also scheduled a public hearing on the budget for Wednesday, September 14th.

- Awarded the contract for Banking Services to First State Bank, effective October 1, 2005, their bid being the lowest cost and/or best bid complying with specifications.

- Approved the renewal of Pollution Liability Insurance Coverage for the period 8/12/05 through 8/12/06, with AIG through the Key West Insurance, Inc., at a premium of $48,373.00, excluding terrorism coverage. KEYS will invoice the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) for their portion of $34,393.00, which equates to 71.1 percent of the total premium.

The regular meeting of the Utility Board took place at 5:00 p.m., August 10th, in the Louis Carbonell Board Room of the William Arnold Service Building, 1001 James Street, Key West.

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