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City of McKenzie to Reevaluate Water Fees, Rates

Posted 10/16/19

McKENZIE (October 10) — During the October meeting of the McKenzie Board of Mayor and Council, the board agreed to have the Tennessee Association of Utility Districts to provide a rates study. …

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City of McKenzie to Reevaluate Water Fees, Rates

Posted

McKENZIE (October 10) — During the October meeting of the McKenzie Board of Mayor and Council, the board agreed to have the Tennessee Association of Utility Districts to provide a rates study. The study would provide accurate fees for city services such as turning on the water services and establishing proper late fees. A recommendation on a possible rate increase would be included.

Following training on utilities, the city will no longer require a water deposit. Instead the moneys collected will go as service fees. The deposits on file will remain in effect until collected at the time of water shutoff.

The council was updated on the burned out property on Woodrow Avenue; the condemnation board inspected the property and recommended razing the residence. Council members agreed to move forward with the demolition and place a lien on the property for the accrued cost.

Under department reports, Water Superintendent Billy Wood stated the new residential digital water meters are nearly all installed and crews are moving towards installing the larger commercial meters. The sewer lining rehab has been completed, and the excavation and replacement of collapsed lines will ensue.

Public Workers Director Johnny Mercer said leaf pickup will be scheduled once leaves begin to fall. Currently, his department is servicing vehicles and wrapping up brush pickup. He added the new LED street lights are being installed but was not sure of the exact status as the crews had left for the day before receiving an update.

Parks and Recreation Director Mike Beasley’s department will being winterizing the splash pad and making preparation for the city’s Boo Bash on October 24.

Police Chief Craig Moates informed the council of his department’s final hire to fill the seventeenth officer position. The new hire will join the McKenzie department following graduation from the academy.

During a workshop prior to the meeting, the council was addressed by Rick Whitehead of Tennessee Municipal Technical Advisory Services on the significance of the city possibly moving towards the hiring of a city administrator. Whitehead’s presentation outlined the benefits of an administrator running the day-to-day operation of the city. Doing so allows the mayor or board executive to focus more on economic development and city improvements. If the city were to move towards hiring an administrator, the position would be held accountable to the McKenzie Board of Mayor and Council.

Also during the workshop, the council learned of possibly ending the city’s lease with Verizon Wireless for the cellular tower on the water tower near city hall. Bryan Mauro a lease consultant for Cellular Lease Consultants sent an email to Mayor Jill Holland on the possibility of finding a better lease for the city. The current lease is approximately $1,300 a month. According to Mauro he believes his company can broker a better deal for the city. Mauro wrote, “I assure you that we can get a much more attractive lump-sum offer on the table for the City’s consideration. Also, if any of the leases are within 5 years from expiry, I can negotiate a better lease rate in exchange for a lease extension.”

The next regular meeting of the council is November 14 at McKenzie City Hall.

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