BPU receives national award for community service

BPU Chief Communications Officer David Mehlhaff, second from left, and BPU Board Secretary Tom Groneman, third from left, accepted a national community service award from APPA officials. (Photo from BPU)

The Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Public Utilities received an American Public Power Association Sue Kelly Community Service Award during the American Public Power Association’s National Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

The award recognizes “good neighbor” activities that demonstrate the commitment of the utility and its employees to the community.

The award, established in 1990, recognizes “good neighbor” activities that demonstrate the commitment of a utility and its employees to the community, and is widely coveted within the industry.

The Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Public Utilities has a commitment that goes beyond utility services to its customers, a spokesman stated. Kansas City BPU strives to improve the community in which it operates through a comprehensive corporate social responsibility effort.

This includes donations and sponsorships, volunteerism, environmental stewardship, and a coordinated response aimed to help customers overcome COVID-19 challenges, the spokesman stated. Kansas City, Kansas, BPU and its employees contribute and invest financially in a number of local initiatives, including the area’s Summer Youth Program and the Customer Hardship Payment Assistance and Utility Assistance programs.

Additionally, Kansas City, Kansas, BPU encourages its employees to give back through volunteer service activities, according to the spokesman.

Service projects have included delivering meals to families on Thanksgiving, back-to-school supply funding, and a toy drive to support homeless children during the holidays, the spokesman stated. Kansas City, Kansas, BPU also undertook numerous initiatives to assist customers impacted by the pandemic, including putting in place and extending flexible payment arrangement options and waiving late payment and reconnection fees.

The Community Service Award, including a video highlighting the utility’s community giving efforts, was presented to a BPU delegation at a general session attended by industry leaders from across the nation.

“BPU has demonstrated its dedication through a mix of donations, volunteer work, environmental advocacy, and civic leadership,” stated APPA leadership before the presentation.

“We are pleased to be recognized as one of the nation’s top utilities for supporting, and assisting, the community it serves,” stated Bill Johnson, general manager for BPU, in a news release. “Giving back to Wyandotte County and working to protect the environment is a key part of our employee culture and utility operations, and we remain committed to making our community a better place to live, just as we have for over 100 years.”

  • Story from BPU

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