Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Oxford Electric, Water and Sewer to become Oxford Utilities

The Oxford Electric Department will merge with water and sewer services and become one department named Oxford Utilities.
Photo courtesy of Alger Design Studio, P.A.

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor

While the Oxford Electric Department has handled the billing for city water and sewer services for many years, the OED and Water and Sewer Department had remained separate departments.

However, as of today, the two will now operate under the same umbrella and will be collectively named Oxford Utilities.

On Tuesday, the Oxford Board of Aldermen voted to approve the merger and name change.

Within Oxford Utilities, there will be an Electric Division and Water Division, however, all water, sewer and electric employees will fall under the Oxford Utilities’ umbrella, said Rob Neely, who served as superintendent of OED and will continue as superintendent of Oxford Utilities.

All appropriate regulators, boards and commissions will be notified today of the change.

“Management is working on a schedule to convert employee payroll, purchasing, et cetera, over to Oxford Utilities,” Neely said.

Public Works Director Bart Robinson said the change will take about six months.

“We’re going to ease into it,” Robinson said Tuesday.

Aldermen John Morgan asked if the new branding will be expensive with having to change the name on uniforms, vehicles, bills and more.

Neely said both departments purchase new uniforms each year.

“As we purchase new items, they’ll be with the new name on it,” he said.

Oxford electric, water and sewer customers won’t be affected by the change since their bills are already combined onto one bill each month.