BPW, lowest rate in the state

Bamberg Board of Public Works Manager Bruce Ellis informed everyone at Monday night’s meeting that BPW has the lowest electrical rate in the state according to a recent Municipal Power Association’s analysis of 21 municipalities.

“Since 1980 the Board of Public Works has had the lowest rate in SC. We also have a 'Power Factor' rating of 95, which is very good,” said Ellis.

According to Ellis, the Power Factor rating basically is the efficiency of an electrical utility system.

Ellis went on to say that because BPW falls under a lot of government agencies that are regulated such as DHEC, EPA and DOT, a lot of what BPW does will be regulated and will no longer be an option. The Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations will affect BPW employees' use of electronic devices such as cell phones and Blackberry's (PDA's). Ellis said that the BPW is going to have to implement a cell phone use policy to comply with DOT requirements for its employees.

"It is all about making the public aware now. BPW is no win the natural gas SHRIMP program, which is a template for educating the public and is designed to meet the federal guidelines for Distribution of Natural Gas Integrity Management Program (DIMP)," said Ellis.

BPW customers will start seeing billboards, news articles, advertisements and will even get notices in their bills in regards to all this says Ellis.

Buzzy Bunch was sworn in as the new commissioner of the Board of Public Works. Bamberg City Council members appointed Councilmember Buzzy Bunch to fill the vacant seat on the board. Bunch resigned his city council position to accept the appointment to the BPW position.

“Working with the city council, I know that side of it now and working at BPW for several years and knowing their side, I think I can bring the two sides a little closer together.”

In other business:

• The Board approved the purchase of a new tractor for $47,578.00.

• The Board discussed third party notification. Before turning off a customer's utilities a third party can be notified if BPW has their name on file.