RETIREMENT ACCEPTED … Bryan Board of Public Affairs approved, “with regrets”, the retirement of Nathan Gardner at the January 3, 2023 meeting. From left to right at the meeting were board members Tom Sprow, Karen Ford, Annette Schreiner and Chair Jim Salsbury, Gardner, Bryan Mayor Carrie Schlade and Clerk Laura Rode. (PHOTO BY REBECCA MILLER, STAFF)
By: Rebecca Miller
The January 3, 2023 meeting of the Bryan BPA was held at 5 p.m., beginning with the pledge of allegiance and the approval of the minutes for the December 20, 2022 regular meeting and the December 29, 2022 special meeting.
Chair Jim Salsbury moved into “the discussion and possible resolution regarding reimbursement of funds from AEP (American Energy Power) for OMEG (Ohio Municipal Energy Group) Participants.”
Director of Utilities, Nathan Gardner, took some time to explain the situation to the board, sharing details, many of which were in the writing of the resolution which the board chose to approve after his explanation.
The resolution which the board approved is “authorizing a refund from American Electric Power to the City of Bryan’s electric customers through the power supply cost adjustment, applicable to the City of Bryan’s electric rate schedules.”
Gardner and the writing of the resolution, made it clear that the Bryan Municipal Utilities collects a monthly Power Supply Cost Adjustment; AMP (American Municipal Power) secures the energy with BMU being in the Ohio Municipal Energy Group, or pool that participates together in purchasing and selling as needed for the benefit of the entire group; and during 2022,
AMP detected a metering issue in AEP that had resulted in an overbilling for energy and transmission costs for the group.
Over the year, AMP worked with attorneys to determine how to reconcile this overcharge. Gardner shared that the portion of the refund that will come to the City of Bryan is $1,051,308.68.
He recommended to the BPA that it be refunded over a one-year period to all the customers that were overcharged.
The money will be applied to the Power Supply Cost Adjustment as applicable to the City of Bryan’s electric rate schedules, and will be “split and credited to the Bryan Electric Customers over the next 12 months with the Power Supply Cost Adjustment for all bills rendered on or after January 20, 2023.”
They all agreed that doing this will put the money “back where it belongs, to the customers who paid the overcharge.”
Next on the agenda, HR Director Jackie Perry presented to the board the request from Director Nathan Gardner to retire as of March 31, 2023, after 19 years with the company.
Gardner told the board that he is ready to retire, spend time with his family and travel. The board members told him they are happy for him but he will be missed.
He laughed and said, “In a year you won’t even remember me!” They all enjoyed a chuckle over that.
He stated that he felt like he needed to stay a year longer than he wanted to as it had been quite a struggle getting through the pandemic years. They made a motion to accept his resignation “with regrets.”
Perry then asked for and was given permission to post for the following positions – Director of Utilities, Water Distribution Operator, and Utility Engineering Assistant/Project Coordinator.
The last one listed is a position that was created and approved in November of 2022. There has not been a Water Distribution Operator since June of 2021 but has now been added back into the budget.
It was determined that the committee assignments for 2023 will stay the same as last year except for HR Committee which is always done by the chair and vice-chair, and the OME alternate.
They voted to pay the bills and all took time to share well wishes to Gardner on his retirement and to thank him for the recommendation to send the overcharges back to the customers who paid them. They thanked him for his service also.
Gardner said, “I just want all of our employees to know that we have built a lot of good relationships over the years and I think we have accomplished a lot of great things and I look forward to retirement.”
“I want to thank you on the board for being a part of all that we accomplished.”
With no other business they went into executive session for the appointment, employment, promotion, and compensation of public employees, asking Jackie Perry and Laura Rode to stay for the session. There was no action taken.
Rebecca Miller may be reached at email@example.com