The Loudon Utility Board will be considering a
water rate increase to finance the $17 million expansion project
of the Loudon Water Treatment plant.
Lynn Mills, LUB general manager, told the board Monday that the
State Revolving Loan Fund recommends a 12 percent increase in
the existing water/wastewater rates. "We're getting close to
preliminary engineering on the water treatment expansion, and
state revolving loan fund recommends a minimum rate increase of
12 percent," Mills said.
Mills said the utility needs $900,000 in additional revenues
accumulated by the time the expansion is completed and repayment
of the revolving loan funds begins.
Because the Loudon Water Department is separate from the
Wastewater Treatment plant, Mills said he removed wastewater
fees from the equation. He recommends a three-year 7.5 percent
increase, beginning Jan. 1, 2011.
The project is targeted for completion in 2013. Construction
will take at least two years. Discussion about the proposed
expansion has been ongoing for years.
"We had been doing the engineering work, but when the economy
slowed down, we sort of slowed down too," Mills said. "Then,
last summer, we hit high peak days that made it evident we would
have to go ahead."
The Water Plant expansion will take the department's capacity
from 12 million gallons a day to 20 million. In addition, it
will involved installment of a new intake pipe in a different
area of the Tennessee River, which will provide better quality
and quantity of water.
Mills said last summer, the Water plant treated 11 million
gallons a day on some days, and at least 20 percent of capacity
is supposed to be kept in reserve in case of emergency.
Industrial customers, including some also undergoing expansions
and needing increased usage, will generate a large portion of
funds for the expansion. The board will look into whether the
Tellico Village Property Owners Association customers can be
assessed the increase.
The proposed water increase will be placed on the agenda for the
Oct. 25 meeting.
Jack Randolph, LUB chairman, said, "I don't see that we've got