Getting Outsmarted by Roane County and West Knox County and everywhere else!
First Roane County – because we are building a plant for them and we are paying for it too.
It is absolutely correct that TDEC made LCUB design the treatment plant for their needs PLUS 750,000 gallons per day from Roane County. This drives up the size of the plant as well as the construction cost and operational costs. All of these cost will be paid by the same LCUB customers that helped pay for their first plant because there will never be enough revenue from Roane County based on the current 300 to 500 or so gallons per day (1/2500th to 1/1500th of the contracted amount).
Roane County officials were smart enough to get LCUB to agree to serve their industrial park. To do this, Roane County funded part (or maybe all) of the cost for running the pipe to the area. Now, they should probably sue LCUB to get that money back because it will be almost impossible for them to recruit industries that use a lot of water due to the excessively high rates LCUB has adopted, especially when compared to the surrounding utilities, or practically anywhere else.
And West Knox County – because their rate payers have representation and Loudon County doesn’t.
Management is put in place by the power board, made up mostly of the Mayor and City Council. There are two extra members of the power board from West Knox County (and they only get electricity from LCUB). This was done so the good people of Farragut could have representation, which they deserve. How about the good people here in our own Loudon County who don’t live inside Lenoir City? It is time for us to have representation on the power board. Roane County and Anderson County should have representation as well. (Of course Roane County is doing pretty well even without a vote – we are building a plant for them).
There are always two members on the Loudon County School Board from Lenoir City (2nd district) and there are always two members from the Lenoir City on the Loudon County Commission. If Farragut can have a voice on LCUB, then it is time for Loudon County to be afforded the same right. All rate payers should demand elected representation and it should be granted! We are customers too of electricity as well as gas, water and sewer.
And everywhere else – because other utilities are solvent without blaming “state mandates.”
Fred Nelson, Manager of LCUB, has consistently said that they are under a “state mandate” to build a new plant. Did Union City and all of the other places in Tennessee with rates that are 1/5th what LCUB charges withdraw from the state? Are those utilities not subject to the same rules? You bet they are. Is Sweetwater (where we would save 70%) subject to 70% fewer rules or are they just better managed?
Comments have been made by LCUB officials indicating that the problem is the type of waste that Family Brands and Wamplers sends them. We spend thousands of dollars each week on treatment chemicals and labor to run our own expensive pretreatment facilities. We may not be perfect, but think of all the waste water they get that isn’t pretreated at all and yet we pay the same rate. We would like to invite Mr. Nelson and the Mayor and the power board to see personally what our stream looks like as it leaves our facility. It could even be as clean or cleaner as the stream Williams Sausage pays 1.82 to have treated vs. the 8.72 that Wamplers pays.
The employees of LCUB who go out
and dig ditches for water lines and climb power poles risking their
lives did not create the problem. We
appreciate the hard work they all do every day and even into the night.
People in management positions should be held accountable. Some members
of the power board (Aikens, Simpson, and Hines) have stood up to the
Mayor (who chairs the power board) and the manager of LCUB’s water
department while the others have voted in support of management’s
recommendations, without investigating their accuracy or maybe without
weighing the total impact. Waste water isn’t
the only thing that needs to be cleaned up.
It looks like the voters are going to have to act in November if anything is ever going to change.
John Edd Wampler, President Family Brands/Elm Hill