Clock installed at Carnegie Museum commemorates Roseville Electric’s 100 years

Time capsule hidden in clock to be opened in 25 years
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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It didn't take long before some of Roseville's original citizens got upset over their electric service.

In 1909, 37 residents signed a petition criticizing the poor service provided by a private utility company. So what happened next? Citizens voted 237 to 28 in 1910 to approve a bond for the city to build its own electric light and power distribution system.

By October 1912, 150 customers were receiving power from the new municipal utility. Roseville Electric's centennial was celebrated Thursday with the installation and dedication of a clock and time capsule outside Carnegie Museum.

Roseville Electric now serves more than 54,000 customers, said Director Michelle Bertolino during the ceremony.

"I can tell you that having our own electric utility is an investment that pays dividends," she said.

Residents experience fewer outages - an average of once every five years - and having such a reliable utility attracts industry and businesses to locate here, she said. A recent survey found that more than 90 percent of customers are satisfied with the service provided Roseville Electric, Bertolino said.

The utility offers customers $2 million in rebates annually. Roseville Electric also provides $8 million to support parks, libraries and public safety. In 2007, the utility began operating its own power plant.

Despite regulatory changes coming, Roseville Electric remains committed to providing cost-effective and reliable service, said Mayor Pauline Roccucci.

KB Homes donated the clock five years ago, but the city couldn't figure out what to do with it until someone realized it could be used to showcase both Roseville Electric and the Carnegie Museum, which also celebrates its centennial this year.

"We are thrilled that Roseville Electric decided this was the place for this clock to be because it adds so much to the grounds of this museum," said Carnegie Museum Curator Phoebe Astill.

The time capsule, placed inside the base of the clock, contains a CFL light bulb, LED holiday lights, residential water meter, residential electric bill, safety helmet and vest and more.

"We wonder what people will think of these things when they open the time capsule in 25 years," Bertolino said.

Sena Christian can be reached at Follow her on Twitter at SenaC_RsvPT.