The Magazine of American Municipal Power, Inc. and its Member Communities

Member Profile


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A small town nestled in the northwestern corner of Ohio; the Village of Montpelier is a progressive community home to about 4,000 residents. It’s a village small enough to recognize faces, but with a rich history and a relatively short drive to Chicago, Fort Wayne and the Ohio Turnpike.

“The village has many opportunities for economic development and young families – there is a good job market here and the cost of living is low,” said Pam Lucas, recently retired Montpelier village administrator and former member of the AMP Board of Trustees, having served a number of years as secretary.

Montpelier’s six-member electric division oversees more than 2,300 meters. The municipal electric system was founded in 1893 and continues to offer the community outstanding rates and reliable service.

In recognition of the level of service its utility provides, Montpelier was awarded Platinum Reliable Power Provider (RP3) designation by the American Public Power Association (APPA) in 2015. The RP3 designation is given to public power utilities that have demonstrated proficiency in the areas of safety, reliability, system improvement and workforce development.

“We received the designation the first time we tried for it, and the credit goes to our Finance Director Kelly Hephner and Electric Superintendent Kevin Mercer, along with our other administrators for achieving that,” said Lucas. “RP3 helps our credit score and brought employees together to work on a common project – we had office and utility staff working together.”

In recent years, the village has also received the AMP Safety Award for no time loss due to accidents, and an AMP System Improvement Honorable Mention for a project that installed LED flashing and red lights along several of the village’s intersections. The LED project has increased safety as residents can see the lights clearer and from farther away, and has provided savings because LEDs use less electricity and last longer.

“We also are very interested in renewable energy; that’s something I love to tell customers,” Lucas said. “When they ask if we have any green power, we can say we own a part of wind turbines and participate in hydropower on the Ohio River.”

Montpelier was an early adopter of renewable energy, being one of 10 participants in the Ohio Municipal Electric Generation Agency (OMEGA) joint venture (JV) 6 project – the 7.2-MW AMP wind farm near Bowling Green. The village is also involved in several other AMP projects, including the Blue Creek Wind Farm, landfill gas, New York Power Authority (NYPA), OMEGA JV2 gas and diesel project, OMEGA JV4 transmission line, OMEGA JV5 Belleville Hydroelectric Plant, Phase I Hydro Project, Prairie State Energy Campus and the AMP Fremont Energy Center.

This diverse portfolio contributes to providing stable, lower rates for village residents.

Tremendous progress has been made in Montpelier with Lucas’ leadership, but after 14 years of service, Lucas recently hung up her hat. Or her seven hats, to be more precise.

The 2014 recipient of AMP’s Seven Hats Award and 2015 recipient of APPA’s Larry Hobart Seven Hats Award, Lucas has led Montpelier through improvements to its power supply and reliability, earning the community numerous awards and recognition.

“I have been involved with AMP since 1984, when I worked with the City of Bryan light and water utilities,” Lucas said, “And it’s just amazing how AMP has grown over the last 32 years, both in members and in the states included. They went from a really small office, to where myself and my assistants have sat on the floor during a Board meeting because there were so many people there. I’m really proud of the fact that I served on the Board – I didn’t only represent Montpelier, but was a voice for all of the smaller utilities.”

As secretary of the AMP Board, Lucas was a vocal advocate for small systems, having participated in numerous APPA and AMP/OMEA events.

Along with Lucas, Montpelier is represented in public power through the Ohio Municipal Electric Association (OMEA) by Mayor Steve Yagelski, a longtime OMEA Board of Directors member.

During Lucas’ tenure, Montpelier staff accomplished an overhaul of the electric department – adding a new building, substation, water treatment facility and sewer collection treatment plant and updating the crew’s equipment, all while maintaining a high level of safety and training. Much of that training has been facilitated by AMP, Lucas explained, with staff completing lineworker classes and other training programs through AMP.

Her parting advice to other AMP members was to remain active in the organization – that even the small members have an equal vote and can make a big difference.

“Take pride in your local municipal electric system,” Lucas said. “Public power has a good story to tell – we should be promoting and sharing that message with our customers.”

To learn more about the Village of Montpelier, visit To learn more about AMP’s members visit the members page of the AMP website.