Petersburg considers options to avoid state takeover of water system

After being tabled at its August meeting, the report prepared by the Tennessee Utility Assistance (TUA) on the directives and recommendations of the Water and Wastewater Financing Board to bring the Town of Petersburg’s water system in compliance was back on the agenda at the October 8 Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.

The previous board of aldermen voted to table action in August since a new board was to be elected in September. Rita Cowan, Jake Bradford and Logan Jolly were sworn in at the September meeting; since Cowan and Bradford were new to the board they hadn’t had ample time to study this report.

The agenda listed the report as E under New Business: Presentation of letter from Tennessee Water & Wastewater Financial Board requiring Petersburg Water System to conform to their mandated standards. Copies of that letter were not given to the aldermen prior to the meeting. Since then, the letter has apparently been misplaced in the town hall office, according to Mayor Logan Jolly.

During the meeting, Jolly told the board that action was “urgent” because the state water board would take control of the town’s water system.

Cowan questioned the recommendations two and three that involved rate increases to residents’ monthly bill since the prior board had approved a rate increase approximately a year ago. Recommendation #2 recommends the town “increase its minimum bill for both inside-town and outside-town customers by $1 and increase its usage rate for both inside-town and outside-town customers by $1.50 to become effective October 1, 2020.”

Recommendation #3 recommends the town approve an increase of $.20 each for its minimum bill and its usage rate for both inside-town and outside-town customers.

Cowan said that Recommendation #6, which suggests developing a new customer application and contract for water services, doesn’t match the city charter