Frizzell doing 'really, really good job,' OMU chairman says

Kevin Frizzell

Kevin Frizzell's first performance review as general manager of Owensboro Municipal Utilities couldn't have been much better.

Out of 10 areas with a four as the highest possible score in each area, he got seven fours, two 3.95s and a 3.90.

"He's doing a really, really good job," J.T. Fulkerson, chairman of the City Utility Commission, said after Monday's commission meeting. "He's achieved all of his main goals. And his managerial team has everything running extremely smoothly."

"Kevin has exceeded my expectations," Commissioner Tony Cecil said. "He's done an outstanding job. He's helped morale and built a level of confidence and trust during very trying times."

That includes last July's major water main break and planning for a new water plant.

"I would be thrilled if he stayed on permanently," Cecil said,

But Frizzell has indicated that he plans to retire sometime around the end of 2020 or early 2021.

"He has a timetable," Cecil said, "and we have to respect that."

Frizzell achieved top scores on job knowledge, quality of work, effective communications, leadership, problem-solving, cost consciousness and safety.

He received a 3.95 on initiative for continuous improvement and organizational cooperativeness.

The evaluation says that the latter is "one of Kevin's best areas."

Frizzell rated a 3.9 on employee development.

The comment section said, "Excellent."

Board comments, which aren't identified by name of the board member, said such things as "Kevin has done an outstanding job since he came over to general manager from the plant manager."

When Terry Naulty, the former general manager, was put on administrative leave and abruptly resigned in February 2018, Frizzell, director of power production, was named interim general manager.

At the time, Fulkerson said, "Kevin is dedicated, knowledgeable and a good fit to see us through the big decisions before us."

Frizzell joined OMU in 1990 as technical services manager. He was primarily in charge of OMU's environmental compliance.

He played a key leadership role in the $150 million scrubber project, which was completed in 1995, and the installation of nitrogen oxide controls in the early 2000s.

Frizzell was named director of power production in 2008, where he headed up the utility's coal-fired Elmer Smith Station, which has been slated for closure by 2023.

In December, the board dropped the "interim" from Frizzell's title, promoting him to general manager.

-- In other business, the commission voted on Monday to allow OMU's customer service department to grant one waiver of late fees each year for low-income customers.

At the same time, it dropped the automatic waiver for those 65 and over.

Now, all age groups will be treated the same -- with one waiver per year.

Cecil said, "I like this policy better."

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

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