CPU evolving, but commitment steadfast
When I accepted the role of General Manger of Clarksdale Public Utilities last September, I fully understood the challenges ahead and the responsibilities entrusted to me on behalf of the people of Clarksdale.
With over 25 years of direct experience in city government, I am familiar with CPU’s operations as well as the responsibilities and authority vested in CPU under state law. As General Manager of CPU, I remain focused on a singular mission: to provide reliable utility services at the lowest reasonable cost.
I also want CPU customers to know that we hear your concerns, and we are listening. We answer to you and are ultimately accountable to you. I, along with the CPU commissioners, fully acknowledge that there is room for improvement and better ways to serve and communicate with our customers. This year we launched the “Bright Future” initiative as part of CPU’s celebration of 120 years of municipally provided utilities. It is a comprehensive, forward-thinking strategy that addresses enhancements in three key performance areas: reliability, innovation and community focus.
We are also making it easier for customers to do business with CPU by providing a variety of bill-payment options. Programs such as Pick Your Due Date and Levelized Billing give customers more control over their billing cycles, with no sign-up charges or fees. We have even made it easier for customers to reestablish service by allowing them to open new accounts in their own names and pay off delinquent bills in installments that fit their budgets.
Giving back to the community has been part of CPU’s business model for decades. Currently, we provide more than $700,000 worth of complimentary services to the city each year, mostly in electricity, potable water, and sewer collection and treatment, as well as streetlights, use of equipment, and related services.
In addition, we maintain a reserve fund to cover restoration costs after tornadoes, ice storms, and other emergencies. We are committed to operating CPU in a fiscally responsible manner. CPU can only expend funds on items authorized by the law and that is what we do.
Safe and reliable electric, water and sewer services are vital to our quality of life and wellbeing and should be operated only by trained, experienced and trustworthy utility professionals. Being part of the CPU team allows me to work with some of the most dedicated and hard-working people I have ever met. Many are also lifelong Clarksdale residents. Their customers are their families, their neighbors, their schools and their churches. They are committed, just as the CPU commissioners and I are, to our city.
Regardless of the challenges that lie ahead, we will do everything in our power to uphold CPU as the responsible and qualified operator of our city’s utility services now and in the future.
Curtis D. Boschert, CPU General Manager