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It was a time of celebration Wednesday morning as Fayetteville Public Utilities (FPU) officially cut the ribbon on its electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
Representatives from FPU, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and Seven States Power Corporation along with state and local officials gathered at 110 College Street West in downtown Fayetteville to celebrate the installation of 2 EV fast chargers.

FPU CEO/General Manager Britt Dye welcomed guests to the ribbon cutting to officially open the EV charging stations and to celebrate the utility’s entry into the Fast Charge Tennessee Network. As part of the network, the Fayetteville chargers will appear on maps EV drivers use to find nearby charging stations.

FPU partnered with TVA and TDEC as well as Seven States Power Corporation to install these charging stations and help ensure that Fayetteville is ready for the growth of electric transportation with public, fast charging infrastructure. Grant funding from TVA and TDEC made the charging stations possible with FPU contributing to the project as well.

When addressing the audience, FPU Chairman of the Board Russ Dixon commented, “I would like to thank TDEC and TVA for their partnership and vision in helping make the Fast Charge Network possible. I would also like to recognize the City of Fayetteville for their collaboration with FPU to secure this site and make this charging station a reality. I am proud of FPU for making this exciting addition to our city possible. Connecting Fayetteville to the Fast Charge Network is just one example of how the FPU team continues to keep our community at the forefront of innovation.”

“EVs are going to be around for a long time,” said Tennessee Speaker of the House Pro Tempore and Tennessee State Representative Pat Marsh. “I’m proud to see FPU, TDEC and TVA partner to do this in Fayetteville next to the square in such a wonderful location.”

Tennessee State Representative Clay Doggett remarked, “Owners of EVs plan their routes by where they can find places to charge. With this being on the map, it will be an exciting time for visitors that are coming into our communities. I guarantee that someone will enjoy a slaw burger for the first time because of this charging station. Congratulations to all involved who helped put this together.”

Seven States Power Corporation Director of Technology Alignment B.J. Bernard expressed his appreciation to those gathered, “Seven States is honored to be a part of this project with Fayetteville Public Utilities. We are excited about the TVA Fast Charge Network and congratulate FPU and local leaders who have helped support this project. This network is being deployed all over the Valley. There is a lot of work that goes into one of these projects . Thank you to the FPU team for your work here. This is a great looking site, and I commend you on that.”

According to TVA Community Relations Manager Chris Smith, “The Fast Charge Network will place public fast chargers like these at least every fifty miles across interstates and major highways in TVA’s 7 state area over the next 5 years. EVs will help move our local and regional economies forward in so many ways. This fast-charging site will serve local drivers and bring travelers into town to enjoy the amenities of Fayetteville while they refuel. EV chargers keep refueling dollars in our communities through local power companies like FPU. With projects like this one today, we are continuing in the spirit of innovation and our mission of service. Congratulations on this site.”

The station, capable of charging two vehicles at one time, is conveniently located in the public parking area near the square on College Street West. Designated EV-charging parking spaces denote the station and are clearly marked with signage.

“This new fast charging site does more than charge cars,” Dye commented. “It connects Fayetteville to the regional Fast Charge Network and plays an important role in preparing our region for the environmental and economic benefits of electric transportation. The public chargers will be utilized by those traveling through Fayetteville and will draw motorists to visit downtown shops and restaurants while their vehicles charge. It will create opportunities for local tourism as EV owners plan their roads trips to visit new destinations and enjoy towns they might not visit otherwise. These stations represent another way FPU works to serve our community.”

To learn more about the Fast Charge Network or locate EV charging stations on your travel route, visit

[State and local officials gather to cut the ribbon and officially open FPU’s EV charging stations. From left: Fayetteville Alderman Dorothy Small, FPU board member Daniel Eldridge, FPU Board Secretary and Treasurer Paul Richardson, FPU board member Deborah Woodward, FPU board member and Fayetteville Alderman Roger Martinez, TVA Community Relations Manager Chris Smith, Seven States Power Corporation Director of Technology Alignment B.J. Bernard, FPU CEO/General Manager Britt Dye, Tennessee State Representative Clay Doggett, Tennessee Speaker of the House Pro Tempore and Tennessee State Representative Pat Marsh and FPU Chairman of the Board Russ Dixon.]
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Fayetteville Public Utilities (FPU) was honored to host Pulaski’s Tennessee College of Applied Technology’s (TCAT) AMP Camp for a second year. 10 local high school students spent a day at FPU for the power utility boot camp designed to teach participants about utility operations and inspire them to amplify, motivate and perform.

According to TCAT Pulaski’s Workforce and Community Engagement Coordinator Tonja Garrett, “TCAT Pulaski has partnered with the Tennessee Valley Authority and local utility companies to provide high school students with hands-on experience and expose them to the energy sector. When we think about utilities, we often think of people climbing poles, but it is so much more. The AMP Camps not only expose students to potential career paths, but they also equip participants with practical skills and knowledge that are highly sought after in the workplace. By engaging with industry professionals, students gain a deeper understanding of the importance of public utilities and are better prepared for future educational and career opportunities in this field.”

On Tuesday, June 10, the ninth through twelfth grade students along with TCAT personnel gathered at FPU where they gained in-depth, hands-on experiences as they learned about careers in electricity, water, wastewater, natural gas and telecommunications. FPU CEO/General Manager Britt Dye welcomed the students and gave them an overview of FPU’s departments.

The day began with a tour of FPU’s facility. After the tour, students and personnel traveled offsite to Hamilton Substation where participants discovered the role substations play in distributing and transmitting electricity.

After the substation tour, students returned to the main facility for lunch. Students learned about household electrical hazards and how to avoid them by observing lineworkers as they demonstrated FPU’s electrical safety trailer during the afternoon session.

In addition, students were given the opportunity to accompany lineworkers in bucket truck rides for a unique view of how service lines are built, maintained and repaired. Personnel with the natural gas, water and wastewater departments explained the importance of calling 811 before any digging project. They also used a model to show students how a water tap is installed and repaired by crews in the field. The telecom department guided participants as they practiced fiber splicing, a skill necessary for the installation and repair of fiber optic lines.

“TCAT Pulaski’s AMP Camp offers students who have an interest in the utility industry a unique opportunity to receive valuable learning experiences in their field of interest from actual utility workers,” said FPU CEO/General Manager Britt Dye. “Students are actively involved in real world learning giving them a chance to explore utility careers beyond the classroom setting. Fayetteville Public Utilities appreciates TCAT Pulaski for sponsoring this incredible program and allowing FPU employees to share what they do with the next generation of utility workers.”
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Tennessee Governor Bill Lee and Department of Economic and Community Development (TNECD) Commissioner Stuart C. McWhorter announced that the state will award $162.7 million in broadband and digital opportunity grants. In total, these investments will provide broadband access and digital opportunity programs to more than 236,000 Tennesseans across 92 counties.

“Broadband is essential to all Tennesseans, and that’s why we are making strategic investments in our state’s broadband infrastructure and digital opportunity programs to create a pathway to education, job training and greater opportunity statewide,” said Governor Lee. “I thank the Financial Stimulus Accountability Group for their continued support and management of these broadband dollars.”

With the announcement, TNECD has invested more than $715 million to expand the state’s broadband infrastructure, connecting more than 689,000 Tennesseans across 275,000 residential and business locations.

“More than $715 million has been invested to expand broadband under Governor Lee’s administration, and we are excited to announce additional funding that will ensure Tennesseans have access to and benefit from high-speed internet, which opens the door to high-quality job training,” said Commissioner McWhorter.

A total of $97.2 million is being funded by the Last Mile and Middle Mile infrastructure programs, and $65.5 million will be invested in digital opportunity programs. These initiatives are part of a broader strategy to ensure that all residents have access to high-speed internet by 2028, and have opportunities to develop digital skills, access high-quality tech jobs, connect to broadband enabled devices and access online learning and telehealth resources. TNECD’s investment in broadband infrastructure will provide access to more than 58,200 Tennesseans across 23,000 locations in 37 counties.

To promote broadband opportunity and high-paying digital jobs, TNECD launched four new programs during this funding opportunity: Digital Skills, Employment and Workforce Development (DSEW), Connected Community Facilities (CCF), Broadband Ready Communities (BRC) and Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) Broadband Workforce grants.

Grantees across all programs are investing approximately $48 million in matching funds and will complete their projects by December 31, 2026.

“Fayetteville Public Utilities is honored to be named as a recipient of the Middle Mile grant,” said FPU CEO/General Manager Britt Dye. “We are excited to utilize the $2,646,000 award along with matching funds from FPU to further extend broadband to customers in our service area who are not served by any internet provider. High-speed internet has quickly become an essential service, and we are grateful to Governor Lee and the Department of Economic and Community Development for addressing this need by investing funds to expand broadband access.”


As mandated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), performing work around energized lines and in confined spaces requires utility workers to be trained annually in rescue techniques. Fayetteville Public Utilities’ (FPU) employees recently participated in exercises led by Tennessee Job Training and Safety instructors, who provide training and support in health and safety issues for utility workers throughout the state of Tennessee.

FPU employees in the water, wastewater, natural gas and telecom departments gathered at the water treatment plant for confined space training. According to OSHA, confined spaces are large enough for workers to enter and perform certain jobs but have limited or restricted means for entry or exit and are not designed for continuous occupancy. Examples may include sewers, tanks, silos, manholes, pits, tunnels, pipelines and more.

OSHA requires utility personnel who work from bucket trucks and climb poles to be certified in pole top and buck truck rescue operations. Employees in the electric, tree trimming and telecommunications departments recently received training in pole top and bucket truck rescue procedures at FPU’s Work Center.

During pole top rescue, a mannequin is used to simulate an injured serviceman atop a power pole. The participants climb the pole, rescue the mannequin and lower the victim to safety. The rigging, lifting and lowering skills necessary to bring an injured victim down from elevated heights must be learned and practiced.

The bucket truck rescue technique would be used if a crew member inside the bucket is injured and in need of emergency assistance. In this simulation, the bucket is lowered to the ground by a crew member using the truck’s lower controls. Once the bucket is lowered, the injured employee can be rescued.

”Safety is a top priority at FPU,” said CEO/General Manager Britt Dye, “and we place great emphasis on training. How a person reacts during an emergency can mean the difference between life or death. Training prepares employees to respond quickly and safely during an emergency. At the end of the workday, our goal is to return home to our families the same way we left. Training exercises help ensure our employees are as safe as possible and well prepared, so they respond correctly should a real-life crisis occur.”

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Fayetteville Public Utilities’ (FPU) Student Utility Board (SUB) celebrated their last meeting with an Awards Day on May 2. Students, parents and FPU employees gathered in FPU’s conference and community room to share a meal and to honor the student board.

FPU CEO/General Manager Britt Dye commended the students for their participation and dedication. He recognized the members of the student board with appreciation of service plaques. Appreciation awards were presented to India Bryson, Javon Fox and Eli Layne of Fayetteville High School and Saira Martinez, Avery Raby and Hayden Swinford of Lincoln County High School. Case Creson of Riverside Christian Academy was unable to attend the event.

Following the award presentations, Dye presented the FPU Student Utility Board Scholarship. The scholarship was awarded based on application and essay submissions as well as points earned throughout the year. This year’s scholarship recipient was Saira Martinez who plans to enroll at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Pulaski to earn her Dental Assistant certificate.

“It is an honor to get to share our knowledge and skills with the student board each year,” said Dye. “This year’s group participated and showed great interest in what we do at FPU. Not only did they learn from us, but we benefited from their innovative ideas and knowledge as well. As our student board nears graduation, it is an opportune time to remind them that success requires hard work, responsibility and accountability. No matter where they go in life, those three characteristics will serve them well. We wish the Student Utility Board and all 2024 graduates the best of luck in future endeavors.”

[FPU CEO/General Manager Britt Dye (left) with Student Utility Board members Saira Martinez, India Bryson, Avery Raby, Hayden Swinford, Javon Fox and Eli Layne. Not pictured is Case Creson.]
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During the April meeting of Fayetteville Public Utilities’ (FPU) Board of Directors, board members and FPU administrators remembered Harold Glenn Oldham. During his 17 years as an FPU board member, Oldham served in various roles filling the positions of secretary and treasurer since 2011.

Oldham began his tenure on the board at FPU in 2007. He was a dedicated member who guided the company in key decisions and shared in the organization’s mission and goals. He was committed to benefiting customers and increasing his knowledge of utility services by participating in professional development and training sessions. Recently, Oldham achieved Director Gold, the highest level of certification available to directors through the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA).

“Glenn Oldham was dedicated to our customers and made decisions based on what he felt was best for those we serve,” said FPU CEO/General Manager Britt Dye. “As a long-standing member of FPU’s Board of Directors and a devoted community leader, Mr. Oldham created a legacy of service and a positive example for all who had the honor of knowing him. The loss of Mr. Oldham is deeply felt, and we extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends.”


Fayetteville Public Utilities’ (FPU) Board of Directors met for their monthly meeting on Wednesday, March 27. As part of the meeting agenda, Tennessee Comptroller’s Division of Local Government Assistant Director Ross Colona provided an explanation of the potential merger or consolidation with the City of Petersburg’s Water System. The purpose, role and authority of the Tennessee Comptroller’s Division of Local Government is to provide regulatory services to approximately 450 utilities in the state of Tennessee. 

Colona explained to the board as well as elected officials and community members in attendance that when a utility district is deemed distressed, such as Petersburg Water System, steps are taken to determine if a merger or consolidation with another utility is in the best interest of the public being served by the system. 

As a last resort, the Tennessee Board of Utility Regulation (TBOUR) can order a merger between two utilities. The steps toward a merger or consolidation are thorough and rigorous, requiring an extended time to complete because the board tries to ensure that the utility helping another does not suffer negative effects from the merger. 

In the early phases of a potential merger or consolidation, the finances and operations of the ailing utility system will be reviewed by TBOUR. If the results of the review favor consolidation, the board may order a study by a qualified expert to determine the feasibility and benefit of a merger with another utility system. If the outcome supports consolidation, TBOUR staff will hold a public hearing within the service area of the ailing utility system to notify customers of the potential merger. 

After the public hearing, TBOUR will schedule a date and time to conduct an informal hearing to determine if a merger is advantageous for the public being served by the ailing utility system. The board will order the systems to develop a merger agreement consisting of necessary provisions to comply with applicable state and federal laws if consolidation is determined to be the best route. 

Colona stressed that his office has not had to interact with FPU due to FPU’s good operating standards and strong financial position. He recommended that FPU maintain a separate rate structure and a separate set of books for the customers in the Town of Petersburg. He did not advocate for FPU raising their current customer rates to cover the costs of acquiring the Town. He expressed several times that the purpose of the potential merger between the two utilities is to provide a public service to the entire community.

According to FPU CEO/General Manager Britt Dye, “Fayetteville Public Utilities believes in being good stewards of the community. For us, our customers’ needs, health and wellbeing are of greatest importance. If all steps in the merger are completed and the state determines consolidation to be the best solution for the public being served by the Petersburg Water System, a merger with FPU will be mandated, and we will do what is necessary to make essential infrastructure repairs to bring the Petersburg system into a better situation. Our existing water customers will not incur the costs of the repairs and improvements to Petersburg. No matter the outcome of this potential merger, FPU will continue serving customers with safe, high-quality drinking water that meets or exceeds state and federal guidelines.”

[FPU CEO/General Manager Britt Dye (right) with Tennessee Comptroller’s Division of Local Government Assistant Director Ross Colona (center) and Tennessee Comptroller’s Division of Local Government Senior Analyst Meghan Huffstutter (left) at the March meeting of FPU’s Board of Directors.]
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In mid-March, forty-six high school juniors from across the state were in Nashville  for the Tennessee Electric Cooperative Association’s (TECA) 2024 Youth Leadership Summit. Delegates to this annual event receive a hands-on look at state government, learn networking and leadership skills and develop a better understanding of their local utility.

“Our future depends on the next generation of strong leaders,” said FPU CEO/General Manager Britt Dye, “and it is an honor for FPU to play a part in inspiring local youth to become tomorrow’s leaders. The Youth Leadership Summit is just one of the many ways FPU serves our community and invests in the future.”

During the Summit, Tennessee Secretary of State Tre Hargett welcomed the students to the Capitol where they visited legislators, sat in on committee meetings and debated and voted on a mock bill.

In addition to meeting with lawmakers and experiencing the State Capitol Building, students also developed their leadership and team-building skills at the Joe C. Davis YMCA Outdoor Center at Camp Widjiwagan, participated in an electric safety demonstration and completed a training course with leadership expert Amy Gallimore. Delegates also attended a Nashville Predators hockey game as special guests of the Preds.

Fayetteville Public Utilities (FPU) sponsored Lincoln County High School student Veronica Williams and Fayetteville High School student Alan Armas as Youth Leadership Summit delegates. While visiting the Capitol, Williams and Armas met with their local legislators, Representative Pat Marsh and Representative Clay Doggett, who spoke with students about the importance of being servant leaders who focus on the needs of others.

“This trip was a huge learning experience for me,” said Veronica Williams, YLS delegate. “I made connections with delegates from other counties and have been able to network with them since the Summit. I really enjoyed seeing the Predators and watching them work as a team and support each other. I am so thankful to FPU and TECA for providing me with this opportunity.”

Delegate Alan Armas added, “I had an amazing time at the Youth Leadership Summit, and I enjoyed every bit of the trip. At the Summit, we learned about leadership roles, the importance of teamwork and the many ways utilities contribute to their communities. I’d like to thank FPU and TECA for giving me the opportunity to attend.”

[FPU CEO/General Manager Britt Dye (left) congratulates Veronica Williams (center) and Alan Armas (right) for being selected as FPU’s delegates to TECA’s Youth Leadership Summit in Nashville.]