Explore Your Own Utilities
Your Own Utilities is owned, managed and operated by the people who best know a community's needs and values: its citizens themselves. That is why the City of Tallahassee uses the name "Your Own Utilities." Reliable, high quality utility services at an affordable price, that is what the City of Tallahassee believes its citizens deserve. Employees are residents of the community who run the utility and are also its customers. Customers serve customers. The emphasis remains on the quality of service to the community, not the quantity of profit. A privately own utility does not guarantee its customers the same consideration.
The City Commission is ultimately responsible for Tallahassee's utility system, aided by various appointed officials. Commissioners serve at the discretion of community voters, and make their decisions about the management of the utility in open, public meetings. This assures citizens that they have a voice in the management of their utility system. They also have easy access to fellow citizens with whom they may discuss any questions or complaints they have about their utility service.
When Tallahassee citizens pay their utility bills, they are adding to the quality of their community's life. Their money covers more that just the cost of utility services. It also helps fund other community services such as the Parks and Recreation and Police departments.
How we got started: The City began its utility service on September 5, 1902, when it issued municipals bonds to finance the construction of an electric light plant. A sewer system was the next step. An election held on January 20, 1904, authorized the City to issue more bonds to begin construction of a sewer system and to extend the light plant. By 1907, the City decided it should also operate a water utility. On August 13, 1907, voters approved a $25,000 bond issue for the City to construct its own water works plant. The City's solid waste disposal utility gradually emerged along with the others. It evolved from mule driven trash carts in 1919, to a fleet of garbage trucks in the 1920's. An election held on December 29, 1926, authorized the City to issue bonds to build an incinerator to dispose of solid waste. The City added natural gas to its utility service in 1955.
In the coming years, Your Own Utilities will continue to grow along with the community, exploring alternative methods of producing more efficient and economical services. They will persist in maintaining high standards of environmental stewardship that protect both the health and the beauty of Tallahassee's natural surroundings. Most importantly, they will work to insure that you and the community receive the greatest possible benefits from Your Own Utilities.