The Nebraska Municipal Power Pool (NMPP) awarded Russ Pfeil, utility superintendent for the City of Alma, Neb., with the Bob Arraj Service Award at the NMPP Energy Annual Conference March 22, 2023.
The award is presented annually to an official or employee of a NMPP member utility system who has excelled in service in the utility industry. The award is a memorial tribute to Bob Arraj, former city administrator and utilities superintendent of Kimball, Neb. Arraj’s years of knowledge, insight and expertise in the energy field allowed NMPP members to benefit from numerous energy and service projects.
Pfeil has served the City of Alma, Neb., for 47 years, starting in the electric department when the City owned its own power plant. He eventually transferred to the natural gas department and ultimately became the City’s utility superintendent.
His knowledge has been a key component over the years in completing many projects for the City, including:
- Transitioning from a wastewater treatment plant to lagoons,
- Adding new wells to the water system,
- Completing two major water main phases to improve the City’s water supply to residents.
Pfeil continues to make improvements to the City’s natural gas system as budget allows and recently has completed a Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) grant for more than $3 million to update and replace aging infrastructure. He serves as the City’s board of director’s representative for the National Public Gas Agency, the City’s wholesale natural gas supplier and is diligent in keeping the City’s natural gas system in compliance with regulations.
Pfeil’s award nomination cited his long-term dedication over the decades to the City and his irreplaceable knowledge of the City’s utility infrastructure.
As the recipient of the award, Pfeil received $350 which will be designated to go to a local project or program of his choosing.