- Monday, 12 August 2019
- Written by Jeff Thompson
The city of Fayetteville’s hometown utility has received the American Public Power Association’s E.F. Scattergood System Achievement Award. The award honors the Public Works Commission and other APPA member systems that have enhanced the prestige of public power utilities through sustained achievement and customer service. It’s considered the most prestigious award given by the public power association.
“It was a great honor to accept the award for PWC,” said PWC Chairman Darsweil Rogers at the national conference in Austin, Texas. “Anytime our public power peers acknowledge the hard work of the staff, it reaffirms what the commissioners already know, which is that we have a talented and dedicated group of employees serving our community.”
PWC’s achievements noted in the award included a system-wide conversion to advanced electric meters and the conversion to LED streetlights. It installed four free electric vehicle charging stations. Time-of-use electric rates, a new customer web portal providing customers direct access to utility usage data, advanced customer payment options, and incentive programs were PWC customer-focused initiatives that were also recognized by the APPA. PWC has also begun the installation of North Carolina’s first public solar power farm.
Community support and involvement also contributed to PWC’s recognition, including PWC’s partnering with Fayetteville Technical Community College to establish a local lineworker program and being recognized 13 times by the local United Way.
“While the award is given by APPA, because of its focus on customer service it is a reflection on PWC as a total organization providing electric, water, wastewater service as Fayetteville’s Hometown Utility,” said PWC CEO/General Manager David Trego. This is the second time PWC has been recognized with the APPA’s top award.
During the APPA national conference, PWC also received the Energy Innovator Award. The award recognizes utility programs that have demonstrated advances in the development of creative, energy-efficient techniques or technologies, providing better service to electricity customers or projects that increase the efficiency of utility operations or resource efficiency. PWC has developed an innovative way to locate electrical faults in its electricity distribution system. “This method is about reliable electric service because it enables us to identify locations where electrical faults occur when it is not possible to see where the problem exists.” said Rick Anderson, PWC electric system engineering manager.
This has allowed the utility to limit outage durations, reduce callouts and enhance the quality of life for its community. Improved reliability has resulted in savings on labor costs, vehicle maintenance, fuel, vegetation management and electrical component maintenance. In addition to benefiting PWC operations, the method will be available to other utilities while potentially benefiting public power customers throughout the nation. PWC has earned the Energy Innovator Award three times since 2010.
Recent events are reminders that hurricane season has begun. Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Florence in 2018 are reminders that inland North Carolina is susceptible to storm damage. PWC offers online plans to help you and your family stay safe in the event of a hurricane or another emergency. At Fayetteville PWC, an emergency plan of operations is in place and can be implemented on a moment’s notice. For information, go to the Storm Central page at FayPWC.com.
- Monday, 12 August 2019
- Written by Jeff Thompson
A drive past Cumberland County’s new Emergency Operations building reveals virtually no activity since it was purchased nine months ago. But the county says it is moving forward with plans for its new emergency services and 911 call center building. Officials submitted a grant application to the North Carolina 911 Board in May seeking funding for renovation, hardware, equipment and associated technology costs for the facility, which will eventually replace outdated facilities in the law enforcement center downtown. The new building at 500 Executive Place was purchased in November for $5.1 million. The 911 committees for the county and the city of Fayetteville had discussed colocating their separate call centers in the building with the intent of consolidating services in the future. The county sent an interlocal agreement approved by the Board of Commissioners on May 20 to the city but did not receive an official response.
“It’s time for us to move forward with this project without delay,” said County Commission Chairwoman Jeannette Council. She said that on behalf of the Board of Commissioners, she notified Fayetteville Mayor Mitch Colvin that county government would proceed to submit a grant application to the state without participation by the city. Assistant County Manager Tracey Jackson said at the time that a joint grant application would have been stronger.
Convicted robber sentenced to federal prison
A Robeson County man who confessed to taking part in armed robberies of three Fayetteville convenience stores was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison. The United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina, Robert J. Higdon, Jr., announced that Michael Devonte Hill’s prison term will be followed by five years of supervised release. Hill pled guilty to three counts of robbery, one count of discharging a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
He was sentenced in late July by Chief U.S. District Court Judge Terrence W. Boyle. The government’s evidence established that in July 2017, hill robbed three Fayetteville-area convenience store — the Circle K on Rosehill Road, a Circle K on Yadkin Road and a third Circle K on Owen Drive.
A second man involved in the two of holdups remains at large. This case was part of Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program bringing together all levels of law enforcement, and the communities they serve, to reduce violent crime and make our neighborhoods safer for everyone.
Higdon said this initiative emphasizes the regional assignment of federal prosecutors to work with law enforcement and District Attorney’s Offices on a sustained basis in those communities to reduce the violent crime rate, drug trafficking, and crimes against law enforcement.
Cumberland County library wins community foundation grant
The Cumberland County Public Library and Information Center received a $10,000 grant from the Cumberland Community Foundation for its Summertime Kids project to provide books and book bags to children attending summer camps throughout the county. The Summertime Kids project is an enrichment program that reaches underserved populations to promote literacy throughout every stage of life. The grant money provided funding for two books and a bag for each child participating in the program. Library staff visited 14 camps at 18 different locations and gave away 1,158 bags with books during June, July and August. Sites visited include the Autism Society of Cumberland County; Boys and Girls Club of Cumberland County; Cape Fear Botanical Garden, Cape Fear Regional Theatre; Clark Park Nature Center; Communities United for Youth Development; Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office Youth Summer Camp, Ellington White CDC; Fayetteville State University STEM camp; Museum of the Cape Fear Historical Complex; St. Ann Neighborhood Youth Center; Fayetteville Urban Ministry, Inc.; Moore Street Foundation; and The Salvation Army.
“This is such a wonderful grant for these kids, and the books that were available for the campers to choose from were wonderful,” said Joe Kabbes, camp director of Fayetteville State University’s STEM Summer Camp.
These programs offer children preschool age through high school opportunities to socialize and interact with peers.