This year’s theme, Serving with pride, speaks to the expertise and dedication our employees bring to building this community. Year-over-year, we report on the many achievements of our company, which would not be possible without the dedication of each and every Utilities Kingston employee. Together, they manage, maintain and operate local, multi-utility infrastructure. Whether wearing orange in the field, or working from our offices, our employees share cross-functional expertise and are recognized in our local community and broader industry for their knowledge and hard work.
In 2018, our employees were recognized with a Technical Standards & Safety Authority Safety Impact Award, for safety leadership that supports public education and awareness. They received recognition from the Canadian Electricity Association for a novel approach to transfer trip communications, with Utilities Kingston named as a Centre of Excellence. Two other municipal and industry awards recognized the leadership of our company.
Our employees help build a better community. They’re part of its fabric, lending their expertise to a multitude of boards, memberships and research projects. Our community involvement page provides a list.
BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE
The highlight of our capital work in 2018 was Year Two of the four-year, $88 million expansion and upgrade of the Cataraqui Bay Wastewater Treatment Plant. Recent progress has focused on the Biological Aerated Filter process, primary clarifier number four and the workshop building structure. By ensuring the reliability of wastewater services and helping to protect Lake Ontario, this project will benefit the community today and for generations to come.
While local contractors continue to be important partners for Utilities Kingston, the initiative and pride our employees take in their work is never more evident than when bringing projects in-house, to be completed using internal resources.
Highlights in 2018: Our meter shop and services & gas operations group brought the work to complete water meter changes back inside our organization, replacing 2,627 out of approximately 38,621 water meters that year. A team consisting of water and wastewater treatment operations staff, and our SCADA group themselves completed the work to replace significant equipment at the Dalton Pumping Station. Also in 2018, our gas construction group began the process to install new gas services using in-house resources, with benefits that include high quality work and broad exposure for our staff.
By working together to share cross-functional expertise, our employees bring the cost-saving and customer service benefits of Kingston’s unique multi-utility model to life. In 2018, we focused on four-year capital planning for the water, wastewater, gas and electricity utilities.
The Corporation of the City of Kingston approved detailed four-year capital and financial plans for 2019. Major projects will be focused in the areas of water and wastewater facilities, and pipe networks, as well as natural gas regulating stations and construction.
Utilities Kingston staff also engaged the Kingston Hydro Board of Directors to develop a five-year strategic plan for the electricity utility. We will be guided by the Kingston Hydro strategic plan for 2019-2024 to ensure fair rates and a strong future for our customers and community.
In closing, I would like to thank all of our employees for a strong year. You are the pride of Utilities Kingston. I’d also like to thank our Shareholder and Board of Directors for your support in furthering our vision, to advance the unique multi-utility model to benefit our customers and build better communities.
J.A. (Jim) Keech
President and Chief Executive Officer