By Dennis Brown
Bill Tom Stone is ready to take the position as
head of the Vanceburg Electric Plant Board and take on the many challenges that
come with the position. Stone will replace Eric Bloomfield who has taken a
position as a controller with a regional bank.
“I'm pleased that the
Electric Plant Board has shown their confidence in me to take over the
operations of the Utility,” Stone said. “I know the past year has been
rough, but the board and Eric have worked hard to keep the community informed
and have fought hard to keep our rates competitive with surrounding
communities,” he added.
“I plan on continuing
the good works started and searching for additional ways to improve our
services,” he said.
Stone was named to fill
the position during the Plant Board’s regular meeting on April 13. Bloomfield’s
resignation was made public during the regular meeting of Vanceburg City Council
on April 5. He presented his letter of resignation to the Plant Board during a
closed session on March 30.
Bloomfield’s last official day as Plant Board
Superintendent will be May 31. He has been the Plant Board Superintendent since
January 1, 2009, after the retirement of Phil Kennedy.
Stone is working with Bloomfield to be brought up
to speed on the operations of the local utility and the projects which are
planned and already underway.
“I look forward to
working with the Plant Board and Vanceburg city government as we strive to
improve and upgrade our utility system,” Stone said.
“I also look forward
to working with the people that make up our utility company. Both
Eric and Phil Kennedy have praised this group of dedicated employees,”
Stone stated. “ I've known the majority of these fine workers most of my
life and have a great deal of trust in them and their abilities,” he added.
Stone has worked in
industrial accounting for more than 25 years, the past 20 working for Emerson in
Maysville and Morehead. He has held various positions of increasing
responsibility over those years, most recently as Controller of Maysville
“I will miss the
people that I have worked with over the past 20 years,” he said. “But I'm
excited about the opportunity to serve my community.”
Stone is a 1984
graduate of Morehead State University where he received a Bachelor of
Business Administration with an option in Accounting and a minor in
History. He has also attended numerous seminars over the past 25 years
related to various aspects of industry.
“One of the draws in
applying for the position is being able to work closer to home and
spending more time with my family,” said Stone. He resides in Black
Oak with his wife Beth; two sons, Nathaniel, 18, and Landon, 11; and daughter
Stone is active in the
community and belongs to the Vanceburg Lions Club and the Polar Star
Masonic Lodge. He also works with the local youth sports programs in many
ways and attends the First Baptist Church of Vanceburg.
Tom Stone will take over the position of Electric Plant Board Superintendent on
“I hope to live
the type of life that I would want my children to live,” he said. “One
that honors God and serves the community.”
Stone admits he is
stepping into the position during a challenging time with a court mandated
project looming which will upgrade the sewer system in Vanceburg, and
increasing environmental regulations imposed by various agencies. The
sewer upgrade will cost an estimated $6.5 million.
Bloomfield said the
project has been his biggest challenge during his time as Plant Board
The Plant Board’s auditor reported to the
board in March that the company had a net operating loss of $426,680 for the
year ending June 30, 2009. Primarily, he said, due to the true-up with AEP
of $467,000, up from about $60,000 the previous year. AEP
also increased wholesale rates to the local utility by 37 percent.
The board was
forced to increase electric customer rates by 25 percent at that time. The
true-up for this year was announced during the Plant Board’s April meeting
and no additional increases are expected for this year.
The Plant Board also followed the
recommendation of the auditor, Greg Caudill with Caudill and Associates CPAs
in Portsmouth, Ohio, to cease annual payments-in-lieu of taxes to the City
of Vanceburg each year and to begin charging the city for utilities it
consumes. Caudill cited Kentucky statutes in the recommendations outlined in
the audit report.
The payments to the city totaled nearly
$290,000 for fiscal 2008-09 and the monthly utility bills the city now pays
to the utility company come to about $7,000 a month.
The utility company has 17 employees and
supplies electricity to customers from South Shore to Vanceburg; water to
customers in Vanceburg, Black Oak, Salt Lick and south to the Carter County
line; and natural gas and sewer service to customers in Vanceburg.