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UTILITY BOARD APPOINTS VICE CHAIRMAN BATTY AS LIAISON TO CITY OF KEY WEST AND APPROVES PLAN IN CONCEPT TO ADDRESS INACCESSIBLE FACILITIES

01/12/2012 ~ The Utility Board appointed Vice-Chairman Peter Batty to act as a liaison to the City of Key West at their regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, January 11th.

The City Commission recently appointed Commissioner Tony Yaniz as a liaison between the Commission and the Utility Board. The Board felt it appropriate that they also appoint a liaison between the Utility Board and the City Commission. Mr. Batty will act as a link to assist with communication and cooperation between the City and Keys Energy Services (KEYS) on a variety of issues and projects with mutual interests and benefits to both entities.

The Board also approved a plan in concept to address inaccessible facilities over a three-year period. The plan will address inaccessible facilities that support primary lines and will serve as a template for additional phases that will address other inaccessible locations.

In the wake of the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons, the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) passed order #325-06.0342 in 2006. The order, “requires the cost-effective strengthening of critical electric infrastructure to increase the ability of transmission and distribution facilities to withstand extreme weather conditions, and reduce restoration costs and outage times to end-use customers associated with extreme weather conditions.”

KEYS undertook a multi-year program to respond to the PSC order which included testing all poles, replacing all poles identified as deficient, changing KEYS’ construction standards, and fortifying infrastructure designated as critical (i.e.: hospital feeders, etc.). A companion order was also adopted by the PSC, order #25-06.0341, which states “in order to facilitate safe and efficient access for installation and maintenance, to the extent feasible and cost-effective, electric distribution facilities shall be placed adjacent to a public road, normally in front of the customers’ premises.”

KEYS’ staff developed a plan to address facilities that are in inaccessible locations in order to comply with PSC orders and to maintain the reliability of KEYS’ system. Utility Board members participated in a workshop on the subject in August 2011 in order to better understand the scope of the project and the impacts to customers. Based on input from the Utility Board and continued analysis, KEYS’ staff determined that inaccessible facilities should be divided into two categories – those that support primary lines and those that support secondary lines.

Phase I will address inaccessible facilities that support primary lines and will be addressed over a 36-month period from when the Board approved the plan on January 11th. The balance of the project will address inaccessible facilities that support secondary lines and KEYS’ staff will develop a plan for this work which may be scheduled in one additional phase or several phases during the last ten months of Phase I and seek Utility Board approval within four months of completion of phase I.

The regular meeting of the Utility Board took place at 5:00 p.m., January 11th, in the Louis Carbonell Board Room of the William Arnold Service Building, 1001 James Street, Key West.

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