News, Events & Awards
When it comes to the Hibbing Public Utilities, many questions abound throughout the community. Will the steam system be around ten years from now, or will everyone convert to natural gas? What will happen to jobs? What about rates?
On Monday afternoon, the HPU’s general manager, Scott Hautala, and the director of finance, Jean Lane, sat down with the Hibbing Daily Tribune for a candid discussion to dispel rumors and try and paint a clearer picture of the current state of the utility. The following are excerpts from that conversation and have been lightly edited for content and clarity.
The Tom Bovitz Memorial Scholarship is an annual scholarship honoring the late General Manager, Tom Bovitz. The theme of the annual High School scholarship essay is "Municipal Utilities: good for all of us." Essays are to be from 500 to 750 words, type and double-spaced. Those eligible must be, or have as a legal guardian, a customer of an MMUA-member municipal electric or gas utility.
The Hibbing Public Utilities offers a $250 local scholarship, and coordinates with the Minnesota Municipal Utilities Association (MMUA) for a state-wide competition. MMUA scholarships are in the amounts of $2,000, $1,500, $1,000 and $500, awarded to essay contest winner who plans to attend a post-secondary educational institution. Essays submitted to the Hibbing Public Utilities will be forwarded to the MMUA for the Statewide competition.The deadline for submittals to the Hibbing Public Utilities is April 1, 2019. The guidelines are found here.
July 5, 2018: The Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce announces that it has selected artists and submitted designs to wrap seven utility boxes in Hibbing's downtown area. The project was launched earlier this year after the Chamber recieved a grant from the MN Dept. of Iron Range Resources and the Blandin Leadership Program. Selected artists will recieve a $500 stipend for their design or photograph. Nick Signs will be creating and applying the wrap to the selected utility boxes. The total project cost will be $27,000.
The designs were selected by six volunteers from the downtown business and arts community. Seven artist's designs were selected and four alternates.
Lory Fedo, President of the Hibbing Area Chamber of Commerce stated, "Because we have never done this before, we are not quite sure how each piece of art will translate onto the utility box. We asked to the selection committee to also select alternate designs in case the designs are not a good match or an artist needs to drop out. Artists will need to work with us and Nick Signs to help make the design match the wrap and utility box size. There also is a possiblity of adding an additional box to this project."
The artists whose designs were selected are: Brekke Hudelson, Dennis Menter, JoAnne Wirkkula, Kathleen Fredeen, Lori Harter, Melissa Corradi, and Terry and Brian Maceij. The alternates are: Judith Johnson, Mark Marolt, Maggie Furlong and Stell Schweiberger.
Fedo said, "We wanted to encourage and support public art in Hibbing's downtown. This would enhance the downtown experience and also give local artists an opportunity to participate in public art. We had 44 local artists submit 76 pieces of art or photography for this project."