What is the Public Utilities Advisory Board?
The Independence City Charter establishes a Public Utilities Advisory Board to advise the City Council and City Manager on matters pertaining to the use, ownership, service, operation, or franchising of public utilities.
The City Council appoints the seven members to four-year terms.
The Public Utilities Advisory Board has extensive responsibilities as outlined in the City Charter.
These responsibilities include the opportunity to:
- Conduct public hearings related to utilities
- Recommend rate adjustments, long-term planning, issuance of debt and construction of new and expansion of existing facilities
- Make an annual report to the City Council.
The City Charter specifically says the utility is to be operated in a "businesslike manner" and "after providing for depreciation accruals and amortization of bonds, and for reasonable accumulation of surplus, the electric utility shall apply all annual profits to rate reductions."
(Section 3.17 - City Charter)
Current PUAB members and their terms are:
- Jack Looney (7/1/2021)
- Garland Land (7/1/2018)
- Harold Day (7/1/2020)
- Mark McDonald (7/1/2021)
- Patricia Schumacher (7/1/2018
- Randy Vest (7/1/2019)
- Blair Wildermuth (7/1/2020)
Looney is the PUAB chair.
IP&L ranks among the Top 100 public electric companies based on residential customers and total revenue.
These are examples of how other Missouri communities govern their municipal utilities and what kind of information is available through their city websites.
Columbia, Mo. has a five-member Water and Utilities Advisory Board.
Meeting agendas and minutes are available through the City of Columbia website.
Columbia also issues an annual renewable energy report which is available online.
Meeting agendas and minutes are available through the City of Springfield website.
There is also a separate Citizens' Advisory Council who "acts as a representative for utility customers, encouraging participation in the utility’s decision-making process and bringing recommendations to the Board of Public Utilities to better serve our customers."
The Rolla Board of Public Works is a four-member board appointed by the mayor and confirmed by city council.
Other Missouri Municipal Utilities
Many of the municipal-owned utilities are members of the Missouri Association of Municipal Utilities.