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THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2007
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61 apply for Decatur Utilities manager position

By Chris Paschenko
chris@decaturdaily.com 340-2442

Next week, the Decatur Utilities board plans to peruse at least 61 applications for the vacant general-manager position.

Stan Keenum, interim general manager, isn't among the candidates to replace Kem Carr, who retired in March. Keenum, a native of Belle Mina in Limestone County, said he plans to retire in January.

"I plan to retire with 34 years in the system," said Keenum after Wednesday's board meeting. "I've told the board I'll help them as needed in the interim role, but short term after I retire I need to take care of some things I haven't been able to do, then work on hobbies and travel."

Board Chairman Neal Holland Jr. said members will meet May 23 to review the applications and narrow the candidate list to a top 10.

"We initially hope to hire someone by the first of the year," Holland said.

Board member Hugh Hillhouse said they don't want to wait too long and risk losing the best candidate to another offer.

Christy Lamb, DU human resource manager, said she received 61 applications after advertising the past four weeks in four newspapers, nine industry-related Web sites and five trade journals.

"They range from the public-private sector to the manufacturing sector," Lamb said. "I did a query, and we've received applications from 26 states from Alabama to Wyoming."

Duties

DU's general manager would lead 160 employees and manage all aspects of the utilities operation. The annual combined income generated through the water, sewer, natural gas and electrical departments is about $136 million.

Salary range for the position, which requires a bachelor's degree and 10 years experience in plant operation, manufacturing or public utilities, is in the six-figure range.

The utilities board also heard reports on DU's sales, revenue and expenditures over the past six months as compared with the first half of the fiscal year Oct. 1 to Sept. 30.

Keenum said electric sales remained flat compared to the first six months of the fiscal year. Natural gas sales were up 6 percent, water sales rose 5 percent and sewer was up 11 percent.

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