The Board of Directors for the Oklahoma Municipal Power Authority (OMPA) voted on April 11 to name one of its electric substations after former Perry councilman Earl Hicks, who passed in March at the age of 80.
The “Earl Dean Hicks Memorial Substation” is located on Highway 86 on the southeast end of the city.
The City of Perry gets its power from OMPA, after having voted to become a member of the Authority in 1994. Hicks played a key role in that decision.
He also had a lengthy and varied service to the Perry community, having worked as an instructor for Perry Public Schools for 30 years, as well as working in the City of Perry’s offices as an administrative aid for nearly a decade.
Hicks was a member of the Perry Memorial Hospital Board of Directors and was serving a second stint on the city council at the time of his passing, having previously served on the council from 1984-87.
In the resolution passed by OMPA, it noted that, “Earl Dean Hicks was a community leader, dedicated to the City of Perry, Oklahoma, and its public power service.”
It went on to say that, “early in his tenure with the City, he recognized the great savings which could be realized if the city changed its wholesale power suppliers; his recommendation and direction led the City to OMPA, and multi-year agreements permitting the City to purchase wholesale power at deep discounts and direct those savings into the rebuilding of Perry’s intra-city electric distribution system, purchase vehicles and equipment and create the Electric Capital Fund, which continues to serve the electric needs of the City.”
The resolution also noted that Hicks helped get the lights back on by coordinating contractors after a devastating storm in 2002, and further helped the city get reimbursed expenses through FEMA.
“Earl Dean Hicks was a leader for decades in advancing the cause of public power and the business interests of both the City of Perry, Oklahoma and the OMPA, and deserves a fitting tribute and memorial,” the resolution read.The substation named after Hicks received an upgrade in 2014, with more than $300,000 spent on it. It is one of 16 substations OMPA owns state-wide.