LCUB approves budgets

Farragut Press

Lenoir City Utilities Board approved department budgets at its meeting Monday, June 21.

“The biggest benefit of this is that it gives us an excellent view of fiscal conditions … and a view of the capital expenditures of the next few years,” said Joel Garber, former Farragut alderman and chair of LCUB’s salary and budget committee.

“We factored in relatively conservative growth. Currently, LCUB is healthy … LCUB is going to be prepared for whatever comes its way,” Utilities general manager Shannon Littleton said.

The Board approved budgets for the electric and gas departments without much discussion, but Littleton advised the Board of caution areas in the water and sewer department budgets.

“On the face, everything seems OK. But we need to keep a rein on these departments, as it were,” Littleton said.

He said those department managers already knew that spending would have to be kept to a minimum.

“This is a guideline and a restraint on how management should go forward,” Littleton said.

According to Littleton, debt service would be the cause of future “lean years” for LCUB.

“The debt service is going to increase,” he said, although he also mentioned LCUB could be debt free by 2020.

He said the main concern of LCUB would be balancing its services while avoiding any rate increases for customers.

“We’re going to be just fine,” he said.

Budget numbers were not made available after repeated requests.

In other business, the Board:

• Awarded a bid to Pike Electric for installation of nine transmission poles and two under-build circuits, for a low bid of $46,445

• Awarded a bid to Altec Inc. for a new material handling bucket truck, for a low bid of $167,900

• Awarded a bid to Valmont for 44 galvanized steel poles, for a low bid of $51,754

• Approved a professional engineering proposal from Lamar Dunn & Associates for a booster station upgrade project at Reeves Street

• Authorized the water department to purchase a replacement vehicle

• Approved annual bids and bidders for gas, water and sewer material

• Approved annual bids and bidders for gas meters and regulators