Muscatine Power and Water (MP&W) earned a Smart Energy Provider (SEP) designation from the American Public Power Association (APPA) for demonstrating commitment to and proficiency in energy efficiency, distributed generation, and environmental initiatives that support a goal of providing low-cost, quality, safe and reliable electric services.
“We are honored to receive the Smart Energy Provider designation,” said Gage Huston, General Manager. “The designation reinforces MP&W’s commitment to our customers in providing efficient and reliable energy services while being mindful of the impact to our environment.”
To address the Fiber to the Home (FTTH) project progress and timeline, the Trustees approved a revised project summary form, contract change order, and second contract amendment to the agreement for the design and construction. New FTTH Project Sponsor, Erika Cox, Director of Customer and Technology Experience, led negotiations for the amended terms and additional project resources, in collaboration with Atlantic Engineering Group (AEG).
Huston walked through the drivers for the change in the project cost estimate. This included increases for the new headend equipment and additional outside plant construction, but also includes reductions in the cost of fiber cabling and project management costs by handling with primarily in-house staff. “The largest driver for the current budget adjustment is related to updating the construction units based on the current estimated scope to complete the project,” Huston explained “Even with these contract changes, we believe the project will still come in around $1.5 million below what it would have with the next lowest bidder for the outside construction.”
AEG, in anticipation of the revised terms, has begun securing additional underground drop crew resources for the project. The increase in crews and work around the community addresses the extended delays throughout the project. Different project resources will address other construction difficulties related to upgrading infrastructure to MP&W’s design. Cox reminded the Board that integrating the new fiber system while keeping our existing system in service constitutes a complex process.
As the project continues, customers may experience occasional service interruptions as the crews continue working their way through the system. Customers should notify MP&W’s customer service department with any service concerns or questions. “Although we would prefer not to have any interruptions, I am confident each customer concern is addressed with professionalism and understanding from our talented staff”, said Cox. “Although we have had some bumps in the road, the fiber to the home project is a worthwhile investment in our community and will position Muscatine to be competitive in the business and industry environment, and meet the needs of residents for years to come.”
MP&W anticipates they will complete the project by August 2020 at a total cost of $19.1 million for this significant upgrade in infrastructure and services. When this project finishes, Muscatine residents will have 100% fiber to their household/business and have true gigabit internet capability. That puts Muscatine on par with significantly more populated metropolitan cities and its residents with world-class services.