June 26, 2018, Overton, NV. The Overton Power District #5, Board of Trustees is pleased to announce the signing of the General Manager, Mendis Cooper, to a new 5-year contract. Mr. Cooper has been serving as General Manager for 5 years and was Asst. General Manager before assuming the position of General Manager. Mr. Cooper has been with the District for 31 years. Michael Fetherston, the Chairman of the Board complemented Mr. Cooper on his fine work in turning around the District’s financial position to a solid footing and a much-improved credit rating.
During the last 5 years, the agency has initiated many new programs and strategies, those included a staff development mentoring program and installation of smart metering. When this project is complete, customers will be able to log-on and view their energy use and if they wish, pay in advance for energy supplies. Mr. Cooper also renegotiated power supply contracts and refinanced debt which has improved the District’s financial position and allowed the reduction of interest on current loans resulting in substantial savings to the customers. Management has been able to limit staff growth even with the increased number of services. The District ranks excellent in the number of employees per service, (over 325 services per employee) which results in lower operating costs.
The District also initiated a “Cost of Service” study which has just been completed and will provide a base for the adjustment of rates to take advantage of the lower energy supply costs. The Board and Staff are currently working on the rate adjustments. Staff is also renegotiating a transmission contract which could result in further savings. Even with internal cost-saving measures in place, system improvements have been accomplished and more are planned.
Overton Power is a non-profit special improvement District formed in 1935 and operated for the benefit of its 15,000 customers. It was formed during the Federal Government’s 1930’s program of Rural Electrification. The Rural Electrification program was designed to bring the benefits of electricity to small communities and farms because it was not economically feasible for profit-making energy suppliers to serve these areas. The rural communities were and still are served by cooperatives or non-profit Districts which are still able to provide the lowest cost energy service.