Philippi Receives National Community Service Award | News, Sports, Jobs

Photo submitted Philippi has received a national award and has been hailed for his acts in the community, including a project in which the city provided lighting for its historic downtown area.

PHILIPPI – The city of Philippi received a national community service award from the American Public Power Association.

The Sue Kelly Community Service Award was presented at the APPA National Conference in Orlando, Florida.

The award recognizes good neighbor activities that demonstrate the commitment of the utility and its employees to the community.

“This award was only given to cities in the country that have their own power,” Philippi City manager Jeremy Drennen told The Inter-Mountain. “Two of the other cities were in Tennessee and North Carolina and both have populations over 200,000. We are therefore even more honored to be with such great public services.

“There are only two of us in the state that are city owned, Philippi and New Martinsville. When you go to other states, Ohio has several, and in Nebraska there are no investor owned utilities, they are all municipal electric.

Drennen said there were many advantages to Philippi having his own power company.

“Our electricity is significantly cheaper than other state suppliers and the reliability is much better,” he said. “When a windstorm hits and the power goes out, our average downtime is around 45 minutes.”

Philippi has been recognized by APPA for numerous acts within the community, including a project in which the city provided lighting for its historic downtown area.

The Philippi Convention and Visitors Bureau approached local downtown businesses to dress their historic buildings in lights. With the project approved and all parties involved, the city installed over 2,100 feet of twinkling lights throughout downtown.

“We lit up just about every building top on Main Street,” said Drennen. “In partnership with our CVB, who purchased the lights, we were able to hang the lights for individual businesses so that at Christmas and other times of the year we have a nice, marked off main street.”

The city was also applauded for its help when a food truck arrived in town with a big tractor-trailer full of supplies. Not having enough manpower or equipment where the truck arrived, the city provided a forklift and provided hours of help unloading the truck.

“Anytime we can be recognized for giving back and going above and beyond in our usual daily duties, that’s great.” said Drennen.

Towns that have community-owned utilities, such as Philippi and its electrical service, are eligible for recognition. The APPA represents the public power before the federal government to protect the interests of the people in whom the public power serves and employs. He also advocates and advises on electrical policy, technology, trends, training and operations.

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Jill E. Washington