A top city official in Beatrice is quitting to become president and CEO of the Southern Public Power District, based in Grand Island.
Neal Niedfeldt, the Beatrice city administrator and Board of Public Works manager will take over at Southern on March 1st.
Niedfeldt has been city administrator since February of 2008 and says the dual-role job was hectic.
“It was time-consuming and there was an awful lot of balls to juggle,” Niedfeldt says. “I’ve had 13 different department heads, including the utility superintendents. There’s an awful lot to follow up on.”
He will oversee 105 employees in the Southern District, compared to 135 employees in the City of Beatrice and BPW.
Niedfeldt says it was a difficult decision to leave Beatrice, as he’s been there nearly 30 years.
“It’s not as easy as you might think,” he says. “It’s not all about that I was unhappy with what I was doing here, in fact, I enjoyed it very much. It’s just an opportunity that I felt like I would like to try.”
The Southern Public Power District serves 25,000 customers in seven counties, with a near-equal split of residential, irrigation and industrial electric customers.
Revenues are between $70 and 75-million a year.
Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice