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LCBPU to close on $4.8M loan

Posted on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 5:00 am

Lincoln County Board of Public Utilities officials will meet with Rural Development on March 6 at the Lincoln County Courthouse where they will close on the $4.8 million loan for the Phase VI water line replacement project in the Parks City area.

Ronnie Braden, superintendent, stated that $250,000 worth of pipe has already been delivered. Engineer Bob Ramsey noted that 7,500-feet of pipe has already been laid in the ground nearly to Whispering Hills.

In other board action, officials approved a resolution to provide water usage data to Fayetteville Public Utilities with a stipulation that FPU has permission to piggyback on LCBPU’s agreement with Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to lay sewer lines, providing TDOT approves it. The water usage data will be tied to 100 people along the proposed sewer line in Parks City, said Braden.

Also approved was the renewal of the Microcom telemetry maintenance contract. The cost of the contract is $10,300 this year and $10,800 next year. Braden says the water tower equipment frequently gets hit by lightning, and when it does, Microcom replaces the damaged telemetry equipment.

In other action, board members voted to approve a resolution that will be presented to State Rep. Pat Marsh. The resolution would be a request to make a change to the state statute that requires that the county have financial authority and responsibility of LCBPU purchases.

In other business, Chairman Ron Stanly opened envelopes containing four bids for grass cutting on LCPBU properties. The lowest bid was by Joe Goodman at $13,500 per year. The second lowest was Chano & Sons at $15,160, or $1,895 per month for eight months. Board members voted to award the bid to the qualified low bidder, once qualifications have been assessed.  If the lowest bidder is not qualified, the board will accept the bid of the next lowest qualified bidder.

In other discussion, officials tried to find a solution to the number of people getting cut off from their service for non-payment of water bills.

“We’re not just cutting people off arbitrarily,” stated Braden. “They get 20 days before it’s cut off.”

If customers pay their bills 24 hours before the cut-off day though, LCBPU will not be notified by their payment processor of that payment until the water has already been cut off.

Board members recommended that after the initial due date, a customer should have 10 days to pay it. After that, the customer must pay their bill in person at the Huntsville Highway office. Officials plan to vote on a policy change next month.

Also mentioned by Braden while discussing water leaks is that LCBPU is asking customers to conserve on water since there have been many leaks in the system with the onset of cold weather. Braden also advised customers to check their service lines for leaks.