The following letter is from Utility Service Board Chairman Mike Kelley:
To the Frankfort community,
In keeping with the Frankfort Municipal Utilities’ ongoing commitment to communications and transparency, I want to address the Utility Service Board’s review of General Manager Todd Corrie’s job performance and subsequent pay raise.
But first, I want to provide the community a snapshot of the Frankfort Municipal Utilities’ overall mission. FMU is a $40,000,000 per year entity with the USB’s mission to provide our rate payers with the highest level of utility and customer service. This service includes providing feedback on decisions made, responsibly maintaining and improving our existing infrastructure, partnering and investing wisely to create future opportunities for residential, commercial and industrial growth.
During the past six years, we have provided a strong utility infrastructure that served an important role in helping to attract new corporate citizens to our community. Those new companies have created jobs that became careers for our hard-working residents. Our responsibility and duty are to provide a utility infrastructure that creates a pro-business environment in which job opportunities and private investments are not only possible, but welcome.
Making critical decisions regarding utility rates is another one of our responsibilities. Difficult choices must be made if our community is to grow in the future. We agree with the McBarnes administration’s philosophy of positioning Frankfort for growth through private investment. More private investment means a higher rate of assessed valuation for our community which drives down the tax rate.
Quite simply, if we do not invest in our existing infrastructure, Frankfort will not stay open for business. That possibility is unacceptable. Remarkably, during the past 20 years we have only required one electric rate adjustment. Additionally, our wastewater rates are significantly lower than surrounding communities. For example, Frankfort’s current sewer rate is $31.72 per month for 5,000 gallons of discharge while Lebanon’s rate is $54.35 per month for 5,000 gallons of discharge. Lafayette is $42.50 per month for 5,000 gallons of discharge and West Lafayette is $40.32 per month for 5,000 gallons of discharge.
Our utilities’ strong infrastructure condition and reasonable rate structure doesn’t happen by accident. These results and success take vision, leadership and commitment. In March of 2017, the USB hired Todd Corrie to serve as the FMU’s general manager. For the past 12 months, Todd has performed at an incredibly high and effective level while streamlining our operations, bringing consistency and working with our staff to achieve a high level of performance in all our departments. Through attrition and efficiency measures, Todd has saved our rate payers $566,947.68 or 9.03 percent of our budget since assuming his post.
The conditions of Todd’s contract with us were that if his performance proved satisfactory, he would be given a 10 percent raise at the completion of his first year of employment. Given the numerous ways in which Todd has not only met, but exceeded our expectations in saving rate payers’ money, streamlining and improving operations, working to bring our utilities into the 21st Century and utilizing his leadership and dedication to FMU to operate it as a successful business, the USB honored our commitment to give him the outlined pay increase.
Investments – in infrastructure, services, programs and our personnel – are required if Frankfort is to grow. On behalf of the USB, we are dedicated to doing our part to ensure Frankfort always continues to move forward and remains open for business.
Mike Kelley, USB Chairman