Huntsville Utilities 75th Anniversary
Thursday, May 7, 2015 – 9:00AM
Huntsville Utilities celebrates 75 years of service to Huntsville & Madison County today, May 7, 2015.
Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and the Huntsville City Council declare that May 7, 2015 in the city of Huntsville is recognized as Huntsville Utilities and Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Day as Huntsville Utilities celebrates 75 years of service to the community and the TVA Board of Directors hosts their quarterly meeting in Huntsville today.
“Huntsville Utilities is critically important to the quality of life that Huntsville/Madison County residents enjoy each day as utility infrastructure sustains our community,” notes Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle.
Since May 7, 1940, Huntsville Utilities has been a city-owned not for profit public utility to provide electricity to all Madison County residents and water and natural gas to Huntsville customers.
Huntsville Utilities was formally organized in its present form as a result of the May 7, 1940 acquisition of the electric assets in Madison County belonging to Alabama Power. These assets were sold to The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) as a result of the 1933 “New Deal” of President Roosevelt to provide for the economic development of areas along the Tennessee River. Huntsville Utilities became a local power company to purchase electricity from TVA and the city council of Huntsville created the Huntsville Electric Utility Board and appointed the first members to govern the newly created municipal system.
Huntsville Utilities has the distinction of operating Alabama’s first public water system founded in 1823 by Hunter Peel after John Hunt settled near Big Spring Park and is the oldest water system west of the Appalachians. Water system expansion in Huntsville was the result of Dr. Fearn’s progressive future planning in 1836 as Huntsville Waterworks relied on Big Spring as its water source and hollowed cedar logs as pipes to transport water that was stored in wooden reservoir tanks. In 1858 Dr. Fearn sold Huntsville Waterworks to the City of Huntsville and the water system began operations as a municipal organization that was later given to Huntsville Utilities to manage in 1954.
The Huntsville City Council invested in the original natural gas works plant owned by Dr. F.H. Newman in 1856 and later purchased the full operating rights from the Alabama Gas Corporation in 1950 to distribute natural gas to Huntsville citizens.
The Huntsville City Council, as the elected officials of Huntsville, has oversight of Huntsville Utilities, the governance is handled by three separate boards of directors, the Huntsville Electric Utility Board, the Huntsville Water Works Board and the Huntsville Natural Gas Board. The Water Works and Natural Gas Boards share members. Currently, Huntsville Utilities is governed by Electric Board Members: Mr. Ronald W. Boles, Mr. D. Thomas Winstead, and Mr. George A. Moore; Water Works & Natural Gas Board Members: Dr. James S. Wall, Jr., Dr. Dorothy W. Huston, and Mr. Stanley Statum.
Huntsville Utilities has been operating in its current form since 1940, and there have been just four leaders: Mr. Karl A. Woltersdorf (1940-1965), Mr. Edward E. Cobb (1965-1987), Mr. William C. Pippin (1987-2014), and Mr. Jay C. Stowe (2014-Present) to lead the company of approximately 625 employees that service 176,000 electric customers, 91,000 water customers, and 50,000 natural gas customers.
Huntsville Utilities celebrates 75 years of providing low-cost and reliable utility services to customers with a mission of adding value to the community. Huntsville Utilities vision, “To be the best utility in the country,” is evidenced by the constant infrastructure and system maintenance improvements made as we execute our value statement of, “doing what is best for customers, employees and operations,” says Jay Stowe, President & CEO of Huntsville Utilities.