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11/13/2003 ~ The Utility Board approved returning $1,000,000 to customers in the form of an energy credit as a result of both the implementation of cost-saving measures and higher-than-projected kilowatt hour (kWh) sales.

The one-time energy credit for all KEYS customers will be calculated by actual consumed kWh in December 2003, the billing period of the return. The average residential customer who consumes 1,000 kWh will receive an $18.10 energy credit.

It will be, a nice present to our customers during this holiday season, Utility Board chairman Robert Padron said.

In other business, the Board heard an update on the Key West Steam Plant Redevelopment Project by Ed Swift and Old Town Key West Development Ltd. During the presentation, Swift briefed the Board on the status of the project and the fact that bids are now out for a new company to construct the affordable housing portion of the project.

The Carlisle Company originally slated to construct the 30 units withdrew from the project citing the cost of construction in Monroe County. As a result, Swift will be constructing the affordable housing component through Old Town Development. Swift requested a six month extension on the affordable housing portion of the project in order to allow time for new plans to be drafted, which will result in obtaining the appropriate financing, without going into a penalty phase.

Stressing his commitment to include the affordable housing project in the redevelopment project, Swift explained that the project would no longer offer low and very low income housing, but it would instead provide for median income housing, which is also a great need in our community.

In other business,

- The Utility Board selected Otha P. Cox as vice-chairman and Carl Jansen as secretary to the Board according to its By-Laws, and approved committee appointments for the 2003-2004 calendar year

- The Utility Board reviewed and discussed the Customer Satisfaction/Services Questionnaires for both KEYS residential and commercial customers. The survey is scheduled to take place in January 2004.

- The Utility Board tabled changes to the Management Employee Handbook until the December 10th Board meeting.

- A motion to approve guidelines for the voluntary KEYS Cares program died without a second motion. KEYS Cares is a program that would enable customers to donate to charity through their electric bill.

- The Utility Board approved the annual maintenance of Harris Computer Systems in the amount of $50,520 to ensure KEYS continued computer support during this important transition year to a new computer system.

- The Utility Board approved purchase of the Combustion Turbine #1 compressor rotor blades for a not-to-exceed price of $110,294 to improve its efficiency and prevent future damage from a blade breaking off and damaging the unit.

The regular meeting of the Utility Board took place at 5:00 p.m., November 12th in the Louis Carbonell Board Room of the William Arnold Service Building, 1001 James Street, Key West. Due to the Thanksgiving holiday, the next Board meeting will take place December 10th.

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