BCES Orignal Picture FirstLineman
The first Benton County Board of Public Utilities was appointed on October 3, 1938, at the regular monthly meeting of the Benton County Quarterly Court. The first members of the Board were R. A. Swindell, J. V. Walker, H. B. Pafford, L. N. Peebles and as a representative of the Court, John Pennick. The Board was formed under the jurisdiction of Chapter 32 of the Public Acts of 1935.

A public election had been held on October 1, 1938, to give the Quarterly Court authority to form the Board of Public Utilities with 1580 people voting for and 127 voting against. This first Board negotiated for the purchase of Tennessee Light and Power for $52,500 and ownership of the Electric Plant was transferred on April 22, 1940. Tennessee Light and Power began distribution of electricity in Benton County in 1926.

Today, the Benton County Board of Public Utilities supervises the operation of an electric plant with assets of more than $29,000,000. There are 39 people employed by the Board with the everyday management left to the General Manager, Raymond Barnes. The Board meets regularly in public meetings on the fourth Tuesday of each month. While the System is still the Benton County Board of Public Utilities most people just refer to it as the Electric System.

Although there have been many changes throughout the years, our goal now is the same as it was in 1940, to serve the people of Benton County.