EPB Planning To Acquire Office Space In East Sector Of The County

Friday, October 20, 2017
EPB lobby is being renovated since the utility no longer gets much walk-up traffic
EPB lobby is being renovated since the utility no longer gets much walk-up traffic

EPB is making plans to set up office space in the east sector of the county.

David Wade, president and CEO, said the downtown office as well as the Cavalier property off Central Avenue are running out of space.

He noted that it is expensive to continue to fix up old buildings at the utility's property at Oak and Greenwood.

Mr. Wade said many of the employees filling up the office spaces are associated with the rapidly growing fiber optic portion of the business, including those who work in call centers.

When EPB moved into its sparkling downtown headquarters in 2006, fiber optic was just a blip.

Now it brings in so much income that it has allowed EPB to hold down rates by 7.5 percent.

EPB initially projected that it needed at least 30,000 customers to make Fiber Optic a succession. It is closing in on 94,000 customers.

Mr. Wade said the utility is currently renovating some space on the lobby floor of the downtown building. He said it had been envisioned for walk-up traffic. However, he said most EPB customers no longer walk in, but handle their transactions over the phone or Internet or by mail.

He said a section of the walk-up area is being remodeled for call center personnel to use.

Mr. Wade said EPB does make use of some work-at-home personnel, and he said their productivity seems to be high. However, he said the new office space is needed.

EPB personnel in the call centers also do work for some other utilities, including Jackson, Tn., and Opelika, Ala., he said. Mr. Wade said that earns extra income for EPB and helps out the smaller utilities who are venturing into Fiber Optic themselves.

Greg Eaves, EPB chief financial officer, said EPB lost $2.3 million last month due to the mild weather coupled with $893,000 in storm repair costs.

However, the utility is still positive by $1.2 million for the year.

Fiber Optic made just short of $2.5 million for the month and is positive by almost $40 million for the year.



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