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TVA requires more tests for river intake plant

Posted on Thursday, June 27, 2013 at 3:47 am

Although Lincoln County Board of Public Utilities has already spent thousands on environmental testing of the river near the future river intake plant site, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is now requiring additional tests that will cost LCBPU nearly $10,000.

In LCBPU’s recent board meeting, Ronnie Braden, superintendent, told the board that TVA requested that an archaeological, historical and endangered species survey be completed before moving forward. The unexpected fees will swallow a chunk of this year’s budget, even though, at the end of April, the system has been running well below budget. 

“The money is not in the budget for the surveys,” said Braden, adding after the meeting, “TVA already did a study and didn’t find any problems.”

The board approved having Griggs & Maloney, Inc., an environmental engineering and consulting firm based in Murfreesboro, do the tests. The firm did tests for the system in 2011.

In other action, board members approved sending a letter to the utility’s fidelity bonding company in regard a state audit earlier this year, which alleged various abuses during former LCBPU Superintendent Billy Wiley’s tenure. The letter is part of a process the system is pursing in an effort to recover funds.

“A venture company in Nashville will look into all of this, to see if this case will apply,” said Braden. “He (an attorney) will come through with depositions.”

The depositions would have to be signed by board members who served during the time period investigated by the state comptroller’s office.

Also approved by the board was the replacement of four remote transmission units for telemetry sites located at three wells and the Old Elkton Pike plant. Basically, radio signals relay communication between the wells and plant to replenish more fresh water and signal the need for more raw water to be processed in the plant.

Board members voted thumbs down to a generator maintenance agreement that would have cost the system $7,100 annually. The maintenance contract went up approximately $300 since last year. Braden stated that employees can check the oil levels of the generator periodically.

In other discussion, Braden advised board members that it will cost approximately $20,000 to repair the Flintville pump and regular tank maintenance and repairs will have to be done to Crystal Springs, Mulberry, Taft and Flintville tanks in one to two years. Regulations state that tanks must be repaired every five years.