Kevin Frizzell, general manager of Owensboro Municipal Utilities, continues to receive high marks on his annual performance review.

“These are excellent scores and very excellent comments,” Jim Tony Fulkerson, chairman of the City Utility Commission, said during Wednesday’s meeting.

The review had four levels of scoring — strength, satisfactory, needs improvement and unsatisfactory.

A 4.0 is the highest score.

“Strength” means “performance consistently exceeds normal job requirements; shows initiative and skill in this area.”

“Satisfactory” means “performance consistently meets requirements of the job; competent in this area.”

Frizzell scored 4.0 on leadership and safety; 3.75 on job knowledge, quality of work, employee development, organizational cooperativeness and problem solving/judgment; 3.5 on effective communications and initiative for continuous improvement; and 3.25 on cost consciousness.

Comments included “Kevin’s strong leadership skills were very apparent this year, especially leading this organization through the unprecedented challenges related to the COVID pandemic.”

Frizzell thanked the board and said, “I try to do the best I can. Everybody here really stepped up this year.”

He told the board that the decision to decommission the Elmer Smith power plant and buy electricity from Big Rivers Electric Corp. last year helped the utility to survive the pandemic.

“If we were still operating the Elmer Smith plant, it would have been a disastrous year,” Frizzell told the board.

The board met in person for the first time in 16 months.

Christopher Poynter, director of telecommunications, told the board that OMU will soon double the speed of its internet service without raising the price to subscribers.

“We’re still very competitive and super reliable,” he said.

Poynter said OMU’s fibernet system now serves nearly half the city.

There are 2,292 subscribers now — 20% of the homes where it is available.

The system is expanding into southeastern Owensboro this year.

Frizzell said 786 customers are still working to pay off $379,705 in past due OMU bills they were unable to pay during the pandemic.

That’s down from 1,861 customers and $1.5 million in debt last fall.

This week 112 residential customers and five businesses are set for disconnection over a total of $20,802 in past due bills.

Frizzell said that’s roughly the level disconnects were at before the pandemic.

He told the board that May was the third coolest May during the past 20 years.

Metered electricity usage for the month was 10% below budget, because of the cool weather, Frizzell said.

But water sales were 1.6% above the budget because it was a dry month, he said.

Keith Lawrence, 270-691-7301 klawrence@messenger-inquirer.com

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