Sludge, banks addressed at Loudon utility meeting

Vicky Newman-News-Herald

It now appears that Loudon sludge more likely will be taken to the Matlock Bend Landfill rather than to the McMinn County Landfill in Athens, Loudon Utility Board members learned Monday.

Rather than replacing a faulty auger at a cost close to $1 million, LUB is planning to haul sewer sludge to a landfill. On April 8, the board had discussed hauling the material to McMinn County, where the cost would be $24 a ton compared to the $38 a ton charged at the Loudon landfill.

Plans changed Monday.

Lynn Mills, LUB general manager, said the utility, as part of the city, should be receiving a special rate of $20 a ton rather than the $38 that was quoted. The shorter distance to the Matlock Bend facility should be more cost effective at the lower rate, Mike Lambert, LUB assistant manager, said.

Lambert said he had been contacted by Robert Harrison, Loudon representative on the Loudon County Solid Waste Landfill Commission.

Harrison indicated the utility should get the city's rate.

The cost could be increased to the original $38 however, because hauling is contracted out and the higher price is charged to the haulers.

Eugene Lambert, LUB member, said perhaps the city should look into hiring somebody in-house to haul the sludge. An estimated 300 tons of sludge would be hauled per month.

In other business, members discussed in executive session a lawsuit that was filed against the utility. Mills said a child from Monroe County had climbed a tree and fallen into an electrical line. The extent of the child's injury was not known, Mills said.

Following a joint special called meeting with Loudon City Council, LUB voted to retain SunTrust Bank as the utility's financial depository.

The board had looked at changing financial institutions because SunTrust closed its Loudon office. Traditionally, the city has utilized a bank that was located within city limits.

Mike Lambert said he had received quotes from six financial institutions, but after much study of complicated bank specifications, he recommended keeping funds at SunTrust. He said the utility will deposit daily into First National Bank and the funds would be wired to SunTrust. A SunTrust bank is still operating in Lenoir City.