At the end of the month, every employee that works for the City Utilities Commission in Corbin will complete a special customer service training course offered by a Maryland-based firm.
During a special meeting of the utility’s three-member board of commissioners last Thursday, board chairman Terry Joe Martin said a contract was approved in May with Renegade Communications to provide the training to its employees.
“We went back and looked and it’s been years since there has been any customer relationship training done,” Martin said at the meeting. “We were trying to be proactive. You can never do enough training on customer relations.”
The discussion over the issue arose after a complaint from local youth minister Matthew VanNorstran who said he was speaking on behalf of “several individuals,” but one person in particular, whom had been treated poorly by a supervisor during a recent trip to CUC offices.
“It was a direct insult on a particular lady’s intellect, first and foremost,” VanNorstran said. “Secondly, the supervisor accused her of not being able to understand practical reason and basically said she was uncooperative with business regulations.”
VanNorstran said he attended the meeting and addressed the board about the issue because he was invited to do so. He prefaced his complaint by providing the board with a lengthy personal education and professional history intended to show his customer service background, including his own background in private business, as well as dealings with the Department of Homeland Security, the Pentagon and international celebrities.
“I know the woman to who the insults were made. She has perfect intellect,” VanNorstran said. “She has the capacity to understand practical reasoning and is more than cooperative with business regulations.”
Martin apologized for what he called a “hiccup” in CUC’s customer service.
“We cherish our customers,” Martin said. “We know we’ve got a commodity that’s got to be had, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t have a hiccup and fail sometimes. We take it very serious.”
CUC General Manager Ron Herd said the training would be conducted Aug. 28 and 29 with follow-ups at a later date.
VanNorstran said he was satisfied with the commission’s upcoming efforts to improve customer service, and was also appeased by
Martin’s promise to apologize personally to the customer in question.
In other business, the commission:
• Approved bids for items declared as surplus property. Herd said the items consisted mainly of old tools and pumps. He added that he felt as though, in the future, the utility could do more to better advertise the sale of surplus property in order to obtain high bids.
• Accepted an engineering proposal from Eclipse Engineers, PLLC to design and oversee replacement of a sanitary sewer pump station, located on Roosevelt Street near Bacon Creek. Herd said the plans calls for replacing pumps and controls at the station in order to help prevent overflows.
Cost of engineering services is estimated at about $40,000. Total cost of the project is estimated at $435,500.
Herd said revolving loan funds wouldn’t be available to complete the pump station upgrade until next year. Construction work will be bid.