Beneath Old Glory on Thursday afternoon a new flag was flying on the Hannibal Board of Public Works’ flag pole. The additional pennant was in recognition of the Reliable Public Power Provider recognition that the BPW recently received from the American Public Power Association.
“It shows where we’re at in the electric field on a national basis. There’s a bunch of places that apply for this and they don’t necessarily receive the award,” said Jared Stewart, electric line superintendent. “It shows the community of Hannibal what kind of utility we are as a whole.”
While the award came from the American Public Power Association, Bob Stevenson, general manager of the BPW, was quick to note that it was a team award, since application questions inquired about practices not only in the BPW’s electric department, but also its water and sewer departments.
Among those celebrating the award Thursday was Cindy Livesay,
BPW communications coordinator, who was among those who labored to complete the roughly 2-inch application.
“It was a several month application process and to be awarded at a national level for things we’re doing here in our local community is a very big award for us,” she said.
The BPW’s application did more than just meet the minimum standards.
“We set out for an 80 out of 100. That’s the level that actually justifies you for the award,” said Livesay. “We were thrilled to find out we came back at a 97, so we only missed three points in the entire application. That’s something for us to really be proud of.”
Stevenson noted that Hannibal’s score gives the utility elite status.
“About a 10 percent of all the municipal utilities in the country hold this award. That puts us in the top 10 percent right there,” he said. “As near as we can tell from that score and the results that have been shared with us, that puts us in the top half of the top 10 percent.”
During the two-year period that the award is for, the BPW will be striving to get better.
“There’s a few little small areas that we need to improve on,” said Stewart. “In the meantime we’ll just continue doing the things that we have been doing.”
Stevenson hopes the award sends a clear message.
“We want our board to know we’re doing a good job. We want our public to know that our practices, policies and procedures are among the best in the country. And when you have good policies and practices, that leads to a good performance as far as outages, and as far as water supply,” he said. “We’re not perfect, but we’re doing pretty good.”