Bristol Virginia Utilities Interim President and CEO Michael Bundy said Wednesday he’ll be the first to admit some of BVU’s discretionary spending in the past, which included some employees’ frequent trips to places like Chick-fil-A and Starbucks, “needed to be reigned in.”
Bundy says he started making changes to address that kind of spending as soon as he took over in August. He promises customers he is managing BVU’s credit card spending with more accountability and scrutiny than ever.
“Although some of the discretionary spending items that were mentioned in your report only total one half of one percent of the $83 million operating budget, that one half of one percent is rate payer money and we take it very seriously,” Bundy said.
Bundy says changes were already underway before detectives started investigating BVU last year for, among other things, questionable credit card expenses. However, he admits that investigation also focused BVU’s attention to areas where it could improve.
“Were there areas that need to be fixed? Absolutely,” Bundy said. “Are they fixed? Absolutely. Are we more efficient today than we were yesterday? Absolutely. Will those efficiencies continue in the future? Absolutely. Will the rate payers be better off next year than they were last year? Absolutely.”
Bundy says in addition to BVU’s credit card spending, the public utility is also looking at other ways it can save money across the board so rate payers don’t see a rate increase.
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