Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Two excerpts from Mayor Pam Triolo’s State of the City Address. . .

Held on February 8th this year in the
Lake Worth Casino Ballroom. . .

     One of the most exciting stories in Lake Worth is about our Electric Utilities. No conversation about Lake Worth Electric is complete without talking about electric bills. Remember when people were openly and loudly talking about whether or not to move to or move from the City based on Lake Worth Electric?
     The high rates coupled with reliability issues, especially during storms, conspired to create a serious disincentive to investment. The Commission took action to create a plan to turn our reputation around.

and. . .

     While the electric bill is important, it is no bargain if the flow of electricity is unreliable. To that point, our reliability was genuinely tested when Hurricane Irma hit last year. Lake Worth Electric did an outstanding job. Before that our last big test was when Frances, Wilma and Jeanne hit our area.
     Outages in parts of our service area lasted as long as a month. However, during Irma we actually beat FP&L back to service in our area by almost a full day! That is a result of numerous improvements to the system, better processes, and of course the dedication and hard work by the Electric Utility staff and the outside contractors.
     And while I am talking about Irma, she served as a reminder that as a City we must be prepared for hurricanes. Staff did a tremendous job coordinating the various aspects of preparing, riding out the storm and then working to get the City back up and functioning:
  • City sanitation crews hauled away over 50,000 cubic yards of debris.
  • Building division and code compliance staff inspected over 10,000 properties as part of disaster assessment activities.
  • Over 40 e-news updates went out to keep citizens and businesses informed — an effort that far outpaced our neighboring cities.

It was rewarding to see firsthand the efforts and the caring attitude exhibited by our staff. While they have their own families and homes to worry about, they were here working for Lake Worth.
     I want recognize the hard work and initiative of the Commission. When it mattered the most, you did not leave, but stayed through the storm and then went out into the field to be additional eyes and ears for the community.
     You touched many lives and helped make sure we did not stop working until every last citizen was back to normal. Every year since I have been mayor, we have updated, reworked and practiced our Emergency Management Plan was no exception, with a lot of effort by the city manager to put the organization through its paces.
     But our Emergency Management Plan is not just about hurricanes. It covers other emergency events 190 ranging from a catastrophic failure of the I-95 overpass to a gas line explosion. We anticipate 6 potential emergencies, practice our response and prepare for the ‘just in case’ scenario. You can rest assured that your City government is in a constant state of readiness.