In December of 1894, The Nelson County Record, the local newspaper, complained that Bardstown did not have decent sidewalks, a respectable meeting house nor electric light. By unanimous vote on March 21,1895, the city Council set an election by referendum for the question of whether to approve the sale of bonds to finance an electric system. A representative from the General Electric Company of New York had broken to the Council estimating the cost at $7,500 for the system.
On April 30,1895, 237 electors voted aye, 15 voted no, out of the 332 who were eligible to vote. Within a few months, by late 1895, the system was in place . From The Nelson County Record of January 1,1896, the following was reported:
Wednesday night, for the first time, the twenty-five arc lights were turned on, and the people generally happy. We failed to note a grumble on the part of any one. The workmen seem to be getting along better lately, and are trying to please and satisfy all. The light also seems to be brighter, as was noticed- particularly Wednesday night-perhaps on account of the increase in the number of lights. Everyday new orders are entered and it will not be ling before every residence in town will have them. When people become more accustomed to them they would not be without them, and property owners who desire to rent their house, will be compelled to have same wired.
The first generator was a 30 Kilowatt unit but within months, a 60 Kilowatt unit had to be ordered. the March 10, 1896 Council meeting, an employment contract with Mr. Charles Edelen, the first City Engineer, was approved. Mayor Atkinson, W.T. Samuels and N.W.Muir who had served on the Electric Committee were discharged by the City Council.
We would like to remind everyone of the history and gratitude we have for the blessing that our predecessors and customers have given us. We are mindful of our privilege to serve and intend to continue to provide reliable low cost power to our citizens far in to the future.