The Municipal Light Department’s (“MLD”) Line Superintendent is responsible for the day-to-day operations of all line work. The incumbent is responsible for ensuring the safety of line crews and the general public, prioritizing work assignments and scheduling work in a manner that maximizes productivity while adequately cross-training lineworkers. The Line Superintendent is responsible for providing safe, reliable electric service to Merrimac residents and businesses 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The incumbent establishes a team environment that results in the immediate restoration of power during emergencies while providing customers with courteous and respectful responses to inquiries. This position provides the leadership necessary to promote a professional work environment among all lineworkers by requiring a strong work ethic, positive attitude and a daily commitment to work safely in the performance of hazardous duty work.
NATURE OF POSITION
Reporting to the General Manager the Line Superintendent schedules and assigns work for the MLD’s lineworkers. This position is required to have a thorough understanding of the time and materials required to complete the annual capital work plan and customer-related projects, and perform operations and maintenance work as required. A significant portion of this position’s responsibility is the daily supervision of line crews in the field to make sure safe work practices are adhered to and expected productivity is received.
The incumbent is required to communicate daily with residents and businesses in responding to inquiries about scheduled work, voltage irregularities and power outages. This position serves as the direct contact and coordinator with the telephone company in the installation and removal of utility poles and associated equipment in both the telephone and MLD set areas. This position also works closely with contractors in the scheduling of work and assurance that all applicable MLD policies and procedures are complied with. The Line Superintendent monitors the after hour response time to restore electrical service to ensure MLD customers receive quality electric service at all times.
The Line Superintendent acts as the primary liaison between the operating concerns in the field and the management of the MLD. As the primary liaison, this individual must balance multiple concerns such as safety, productivity, efficiency, work quality, training, and morale. This individual must resolve complex problems in the field by utilizing effective communication skills, knowledge of overhead and underground distribution operating procedures, and an understanding of Town policies, relationships and working agreements. The Line Superintendent is responsible for promoting a positive work environment for MLD employees by employing communication, leadership and motivational skills.
The position’s assignments are broad in nature, generally given orally indicating the end result desired. The incumbent has functional autonomy with respect to all decisions regarding line operations. In the fulfillment of these duties, the employee must be decisive, exercising independent judgment, self-motivated and possess leadership-by-example qualities to successfully achieve the desired objectives of the MLD.
With the deregulation of the electric utility industry in 1998, the Line Superintendent must have the initiative and the ability to manage the line operations function as if it were a private business in direct competition with investor-owned utilities. This individual must possess the leadership skills necessary to provide superior electric service reliability to Merrimac residents and businesses by overseeing continuous improvements to the distribution system.
The MLD provides safe, reliable electric service to approximately 2,995 residential and 224 commercial customers. Electric service is supplied over overhead lines and a small growing portion of underground lines with no manholes in the system. Distribution voltages vary between 110 volts and 13,800 volts. Sub-transmission electricity is delivered at 23,000 volts on two (2) supply lines, 2377N and 2396S, from National Grid’s West Amesbury Substation. The MLD receives electricity at the Mill St Substation on Mill Street and the Burnside Substation on Burnside Lane.
The MLD’s Calendar Year 2019 distribution expenditures were $224,250 with a total capital budget of ~$500,000. The MLD’s peak demand is 8 megawatts and annual deliveries of 30 million kilowatt-hours of electricity to Merrimac residents and businesses.
PRINCIPAL ACTIVITIES TO ATTAIN ACCOUNTABILITY OBJECTIVES
Assigns, supervises, inspects and evaluates the work of lineworkers with respect to the installation and maintenance of the electrical distribution system.
Takes part in discussing confidential and proprietary information with General Manager and Board of Light Commissioners.
Ensures daily work assignments are clearly communicated and allocated equitably among line crews; daily assignments include a departmental tailboard discussion to ensure preferred work procedures are understood.
Oversees performance of all line crews including daily field inspections to ensure appropriate levels of productivity are maintained, safe working procedures and practices as specified within the MLD and American Public Power Association safety manuals are strictly adhered to and employee channels of communications are maintained.
Provides daily instructions to work crews to ensure electrical connections, equipment and system configurations provide voltage levels that are delivered within the acceptable range established by the Department of Public Utilities.
Enforces all safety procedures and practices, uses positive, progressive discipline to motivate line personnel to comply with established procedures; and communicates with line crews to promote a safety-conscious work culture.
Discusses sensitive and confidential information related to department and employees with General Manager.
Keeps on top of new processes needed to be implemented to maintain department in good standing with new rules and regulations at all level involving line operations.
Actively participates in short and long term planning sessions that impact line operations, including the formulation of the Annual and Five Year Capital Work Plans. Establishes work schedules; develops cost estimates; and works with financial and management in the coordination of work assignments. Prioritizes electrical line maintenance and capital work requirements to maximize the reliability of electrical service.
Completes the annual capital work plan within allocated time and budget constraints.
Plans and communicates daily line crew schedules to other MLD employees, and, as necessary, to other Town employees, and outside contractors to ensure all supplies, materials, equipment and engineering designs are available to efficiently fulfill line work.
Records and submits daily time sheets and records of equipment and materials used; responsible for line crews completion of accurate inventory records; keeps other related records as required.
Coordinates MLD work, including utility pole installations, with other Town departments, contractors, telephone company, gas company, cable television company and others as necessary. Coordinates planned/emergency work with National Grid.
Is available for emergency and standby duties as required, assigns crews, analyzes and resolves problems during the restoration of electrical service. Responds to emergencies and electrical outages in Merrimac whenever they may occur.
When needed, performs overhead and underground line work at the proficiency level of a 1st Class Lineman.
Ensures employees under the incumbent’s supervision follow all applicable state and federal regulations, including CDL alcohol and drug testing, relevant collective bargaining agreement, work standards, safety procedures and use their time, vehicles, equipment, supplies and materials efficiently and effectively and that all toxic surplus or waste materials are disposed of properly.
Acts as a customer representative in the field in responding to customer complaints and inquires with respect to pole and transformer installations, street lights, voltage fluctuations and service interruptions; communicates with customers in a courteous manner using tact and diplomacy. Works in harmony with other Town departments and employees.
Oversees interaction between workers and maintains harmony for the smooth flow of work.
Oversees works of contractors hired to provide tree trimming and tree removal services for the MLD; coordinates and communicates tree-related work with the DPW Department and any, and all, impacted residents and businesses.
Establishes overhead and underground distribution and construction standards with management staff and facilitates implementation in field.
Develops specification requirements for the purchase of all new MLD vehicles; oversees the maintenance of vehicles and equipment to ensure the MLD’s assets are properly protected.
Participates in management or technical training to enhance skills.
Assists with electric service disconnections for non-payment and delinquent customers.
Provides technical input in the preparation of bid specifications; monitors and oversees the cost effective procurement of materials, supplies, and services; communicates to the appropriate individuals when supplies are due for re-order.
Makes all recommendations regarding personnel actions, such as promotions, commendations and disciplinary measures for all lineworkers. Prepares reports required by established procedures based on observations and findings in the area of workers’ performance. Conducts line workers annual performance appraisals. Enforces MLD policies and procedures and rewards/disciplines line workers accordingly.
Monitors the technical skills and recommends additional training for lineworkers to ensure each individual employee is capable of safely completing work assignments and the quality of work meets or exceeds the standards expected within “good utility practices”.
Keeps informed and up-to-date with the latest technological developments and improvements concerning work methods, machinery and other equipment in the field. Evaluates new products and work standards.
Oversees planning and execution of switching operations to ensure safe working conditions and prevent loss of power or damage to the MLD’s infrastructure during planned work and outages.
Provides input and reviews updated circuit maps to ensure all information is accurate and can be relied on by all line personnel in the completion of the annual capital work plan, emergency response and in the performance of routine maintenance.
Coordinates and tracks work schedule and associated costs for all billable projects. Works closely with General Manager to ensure all projects and/or repairs are completed expeditiously and all invoices prepared and billed accurately.
Promotes a positive, participative team attitude among all MLD employees. Displays the leadership qualities to motivate employees to work as a team and take pride in the MLD. Utilizes tact and diplomacy to work in harmony with other Town Departments, consultants, outside agencies and attorney.
Ten years of experience supervising line crews with a service territory of 2,000 or more customers.
Valid MA commercial driver’s license, Class B.
Certification as a Journeyman Lineman.
Knowledge of applicable National Electric Safety Code sections pertaining to electric utility work.
Knowledge of and ability to teach line work and safety.
Excellent oral and written communication skills.
Knowledge of and ability to repair and install transformers, switches, conduits, and switchgear.
Thorough knowledge of high voltage overhead and underground construction.
Proven history of promoting a safe, productive and positive work environment.
Familiarity with substation equipment and operations.
Strong familiarity with navigating, installing, repairing and maintaining overhead and underground fiber optic cable within the power and/or the commercial space.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS
TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT USED
Knowledge of operation and use of standard electric utility motorized vehicles and equipment, and common hand and power tools. Skill in use of electric power line detection devices, mobile radio, telephone, personal computer, copy and fax machines, electric power and harmonic monitoring devices, ampere and volt meters, inductive test devises, hipotential test sets, megometers, recloser test set and other high voltage switchgear, and field test equipment.
While performing the duties of this job, the incumbent is regularly required to use hands to finger, handle, feel or operate objects, tools or controls and to reach with hands and arms. The incumbent frequently is required to stand and talk or hear. The incumbent is occasionally required to walk; sit; climb or balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl, and smell.
The incumbent must frequently lift and/or move up to 25 pounds an occasionally lift and/or move up to 100 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to focus.
While performing the duties of this job, the incumbent occasionally works in outside weather conditions. The incumbent occasionally works near moving mechanical parts and is occasionally exposed to wet and/or humid conditions and vibration. The incumbent occasionally works in high, precarious places and is occasionally exposed to fumes or airborne particles, toxic or caustic chemicals, and risk of electrical shock.
The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate to loud in the field.
About Merrimac Municipal Light Department
The Merrimac Municipal Light Department (MMLD) exists to provide its owner, the Town of Merrimac's ratepayers, safe and reliable electricity at a reasonable and competitive rate that sustains the healthy operations of the department, and the maintenance, expansion and modernization of the electrical distribution system. This mission will be accomplished by a staff of responsible, dedicated and customer-oriented employees with superior work ethics, skills and professionalism.