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New Richmond City Administrator Named to National Honor Roll

Ralph Berends, Commission President presented Horner with APPA Honor Roll Award

New Richmond City Administrator Dennis Horner has been named to the American Public Power Association’s (APPA) Roll of Honor. Horner, who manages the community’s municipal electric utility, New Richmond Utilities, received the honor for his significant local contributions to public power.

Horner has spent the last 23 years in New Richmond working toward making New Richmond Utilities and public power a priority in the community and in the state of Wisconsin. He was presented with the Honor Roll certificate by Ralph Berends, Utility Commission President at the city’s Utility Commission meeting on September 4.

“Dennis Horner was nominated for this national recognition for his dedicated and conscientious management of New Richmond Utilities,” said Ken Cernohous, Utility Commissioner. “In the 23 years Dennis has been employed by the City of New Richmond, he has missed no more than two Utility Commission meetings. He is a tireless supporter of pubic power in the city and the state.”

APPA established its Honor Roll in 1978 to recognize employees or officials with at least 10 years of public power service to a community-owned utility. Horner was nominated for recognition by members of the city’s Utility Commission. Throughout his years of service to New Richmond, Horner has been instrumental in the growth of the local utility, including substation development, generation and power supply decisions. An ardent supporter of local control, he has supported the Utility Commission as a model of governance, allowing the utility to operate as a business to benefit all customers.

“The City of New Richmond is a community that has grown significantly over the last 10 to 15 years,” said Cernohous. “Dennis has contributed to all of the new developments in the emergent community by providing electrical power supply decisions, and each of these developments is now being served by public power. He brings extensive knowledge and work experience that has been a huge asset to the City of New Richmond and New Richmond Utilities.”

In addition to his local leadership, Horner has also worked to support public power at the state level, acting as an important advocate for New Richmond’s power supplier, Wisconsin Public Power Inc. (WPPI). As a member of the WPPI Board of Directors, Horner takes a proactive role in decisions regarding WPPI. He was a member of the WPPI Executive Committee from 1989 to 2003, serving as Board Chair from 2000-2003. He also was a member of the Personnel Committee and is currently a member of the Benefit Trust Board.

Originally from North Dakota, Horner holds a masters degree in Bacteriology from North Dakota State University. He previously worked at the State Department of Health in Bismark, N.D., and at the Brown-Nicollet County Department of Health in New Ulm, Minn. He then worked as utilities superintendent for the City of New Ulm until 1984, when the City of New Richmond hire him as its administrator. After he started work with the City of New Richmond, Horner attended the University of Hamline and received a masters degree in Public Administration.