LCUB holds on utility rates

Stephanie Myers-News-Herald  

Despite a mild winter that hurt Lenoir City Utilities Board revenues, General Manager Shannon Littleton said customers will not see a rate increase this year. 

Littleton said it was the warmest winter on record for the utility company, causing gas revenues to plummet at a time when material costs and expenses increased.

"(We) virtually had gas sales that we just couldn't fathom in the history of being here," Littleton said to the board Monday afternoon.

All other departments "had a good year," but Littleton said LCUB did not take any gas out of storage this year because the weather was so warm.

"It was the lowest year we have ever seen. Ever. ... We are very weather dependent as we all well know. I hope we will have a good year for gas in the fall and this winter coming up," he said.
The board had already made department cuts.

"We cut expenses in several ways. First of all, the board has, I guess about a year ago, we've eliminated positions in that department so we are essentially operating now with one less crew, which has cut some expenses," Littleton said.

LCUB is now keeping 20 percent less in inventories.

"We are operating on the bare minimum," he said. "We are still going to have positive net income and positive cash flow, so we are not going to have a rate increase. We are just praying for some cold weather next wintertime."

LCUB expects a positive cash flow of around $93,000.

In other business, the board:

● Approved the minutes of the June 8 special called board meeting, where the board approved a contract with Unifirst for service and maintenance of all LCUB employee uniforms, Jenkins and Stiles LLC as the next lowest and best bidder for the Cedar Bluff Office renovation project for $188,951 and a parking lot lease agreement with Lenoir City Company at 103 Depot St.

● Approved selling three electric department vehicles that have already been labeled as surplus.

● Closed three bank accounts that are no longer being used.