ALBANY — After operating one member short for two meetings, the Water, Gas & Light Commission board welcomed its fifth member Thursday when Rashad Flournoy was sworn in by WG&L attorney Sam Engram.
Flournoy was appointed to the board after being approved by the Albany City Commission at its business meeting Tuesday night.
“He’s green — the youngest member of the board — so it’ll take him a little time to get up to speed,” interim WG&L General Manager Tom Berry said after the meeting. “But I plan to spend time with him to help bring him up to speed as quickly as possible. I think he’s going to be fine; I have a feeling he’s going to be a good member of this board. This is a first-class board, so if he really wants to be a positive part of his community, he’ll be in good company.”
Newly appointed city of Albany CFO JoEllen Brophy discussed an improved January financial statement with the board during Thursday’s meeting, but Brophy noted that the utility is still struggling with what she termed its “stabilization funds.”
“There was improvement in the financials over the last few months, but cash flow is still an issue of concern,” Berry said. “We’ve got to find a way to improve that over time.”
Berry noted that the transfer of Municipal Electric Authority of Georgia credits, which were collected by the authority as a hedge against deregulation that never materialized, is set to run out in 2018, but that WG&L will get the highest return of the credits during 2014.
“We’ve got to take advantage of that fact,” he said. “We have to maximize those funds. Fortunately, I think you’re going to see that happen. I think that’s going to be part of some changes that are coming citywide in which you’ll see the cream rising to the top.”
The board also discussed the departmental implementation of procurement cards (P-cards) for purchases during the meeting.