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Trezevant Hears Proposal to Sell Water System

Posted 10/15/18

Trezevant’s city council met in their regular monthly session Tuesday, October 9 with a number of different items on the agenda and a decent audience on hand for the meeting.No action was taken …

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Trezevant Hears Proposal to Sell Water System

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Trezevant’s city council met in their regular monthly session Tuesday, October 9 with a number of different items on the agenda and a decent audience on hand for the meeting.

No action was taken on a presentation from Tennessee American Water. Two men, Casey Allen and Drew Watson,were in attendance from the East Tennessee based company to introduce their company and what they do for municipalities that are having issues with their water systems.

According to Allen, Tennessee American Water is one of the largest privately-owned water and sewer companies in existence and are the fourth largest water system in the state of Tennessee. Their biggest customer in Tennessee is the city of Chattanooga where they invest approximately $20 million annually into that system. They have had no violations and have a good safety rating with the state. Allen indicated that American Water is a community oriented company giving back to the communities that they have investments in which include large and small communities.

Allen stated the reason they were in the area was that four communities within an hour’s radius of Trezevant had approached their company about assisting with water system issues. He indicated how they work is if a community was interested in selling their water system assets, the company would come in and do their due diligence checking the financials and physical condition of the system and make an offer to purchase either water assets or sewer assets or both. If a purchase price is agreed upon, any monies in the prospective community’s water department accounts would go back to the community. He also stated that the company would become a taxpayer just like any other business in the community and also would pay franchise fees to the community.

Allen advised the council that the company is heavily regulated to the point that they have to go before the state to get any water rate increases approved. The council took no action other than thanking the men for coming from Chattanooga to make their presentation and indicating they would like to explore options before committing to anything in regards to their water system.

Trezevant council members rejected a $500,000 home grant after hearing from City Attorney Charles Trotter that under certain conditions the city could have to repay the grant to the state. The grant funds were to refurbish homes in Trezevant in need of repair. Trotter advised the council that new language in the contract indicated that if the homeowner didn’t meet certain guidlelines, such as keeping their property up and having property insurance on the property, that the city could be held liable to repay that money to the state. The council unanimously voted not to accept the grant.

Trezevant Police Chief Mike Mulligan presented a proposal to the council that involved a reorganization of the police department and a return of money to the city’s general fund. He was present at the meeting and advised that one of the officers, Lorrie Mulligan, resigned last month creating a surplus of money budgeted to the police department.

Mulligan’s proposal included a pay increase of $2.00 per hour for Officer James Patton retroactive to September 16 for a cost of $3,588 for the fiscal year. He also proposed adding a part-time officer effective October 15 at a rate of $13 per hour for a total expense of $11,088. Other parts of the proposal include the department retains one part-time officer at a rate of $13.00 per hour 5 hours per week at a cost of $2,562 effective immediately. The chief’s budgeted hours will increase from 15 hours to 20 hours per week at a total cost of $3,486. Mulligan also announced that effective January 1, 2019, the department will be required to purchase a new driving school program at an initial cost of $1,322.

He advised the council that these projections change the department’s budget leaving a surplus of $14,738 to be returned to the city’s general fund immediately. The council approved the proposal and also approved the pay increase for the one officer which is required to be approved by the town council.

In other action,the council approved a motion to allow Mayor Bobby Blaylock to sign an agreement that would now allow an engineer representing the city to access the Nelson property to assess what needs to be done to correct a sewer issue.

They tabled a decision on what to do about the McRae property until next month after Mr. McRae told the council he did not have the financial resources to make necessary repairs to what needed to be fixed but wanted to cooperate with what the council wants. McRae indicated he would even sign over the house to anyone who wanted to repair it if the house was not torn down. The house was built around 1900 and reportedly has impressive woodwork in it. McRae told council members that materials are available at the house to make some of the necessary repairs.

The council discussed fall brush pickup around town with a former city employee offering to drive a backhoe and pick up brush if needed. The city does own a brush truck but currently has no way to pick it up. It was also announced that dumpsters are coming in the near future to be placed in an undisclosed location to put brush and other items in.

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