Though initial plans had been to raise Trezevant’s water-sewer rates in three stages over the next three years, a majority of aldermen voted to just go with a one-year increase during a Sept. 1 called meeting of the Trezevant Mayor and Board of Aldermen.
The board voted 3-2 to give first-reading approval to an ordinance that increases the minimum monthly bill for water/sewer service by $1.05 ($0.50 for water and $0.55 for sewer), setting the new monthly minimum at $22.16 for the first 1,000 gallons used with an additional charge of $2.85 per 1,000 gallons used over the first 1,000.
The increase will go into effect Sept. 9 if the board approves the ordinance on a second reading at the Sept. 8 regular board meeting.
Immediately before the Sept. 1 called meeting, a public hearing was held to give residents the chance to comment on the original proposal to raise the minimum monthly bill each year for the next three years, but no-one showed up to comment.
After the public hearing was closed, Alderman Mark Argo asked why the town needed to raise water/sewer rates.
Town financial officer Jeff Goad said that it was because the town’s Water/Sewer Department lost money for two years in a row, and as the state requires that municipalities keep their Water/Sewer Funds in the black, it put the town at risk for the state coming in and setting the town’s rates as it sees fit.
“When they (the state) raise it, they hit you pretty hard,” commented Mayor Bobby Blaylock.
Goad said that the town recently had a rate study conducted by TVA representatives, and they recommended a $1.05 increase per year over the next three years.
Alderman Eddie Granger pointed out, however, that the town’s main water/sewer employee is working on getting his state licensures, and once he gets those, they won’t have to pay an outside person to sign off on all the water/sewer testing and paperwork, reducing the amount paid out in salaries.
Goad said that there are all kinds of other expenses related to water and sewer that keep going up every year.
“I say we just do it one year,” said Granger, who added that they can always revisit the matter and raise rates if they need to next year.
Granger put this in the form of a motion, which was approved by him, Argo, and Alderman Leon Lyell. Aldermen Christy Creyssels and Pam Joyner voted against the motion.
• • •
In other business:
•The board gave second reading approval to an ordinance prohibiting the use or sale of fireworks in the town limits, except for town-sanctioned use for July 4 and Christmas Parade celebrations.
•The board passed an ordinance on a first reading that amends the current budget to account for $97,500 in expenses to build an additional bay on the fire station and repair damage to a bay door that was hit by a fire truck.
• • •
During the Aug. 11 board meeting:
•Newly appointed Alderman Leon Lyell was sworn in by town attorney Charlie Trotter to replace former alderman Ricky Browning, who resigned from the board. Browning’s term expires on Nov. 3, and Lyell has filed petition to run for that seat in the Nov. 3 election. A three-year Trezevant resident, Lyell owns Camo Café in Atwood, operates his own cleaning service, does maintenance work at the Carroll County Technical Center, and has driven a school bus in Carroll County for the past 20 years.
•The board approved a $3,000 bid from James Capps to clean up the Hillsman property.
•An ordinance establishing regulations regarding public use of the town’s walking track was approved on a second and final reading.
•After lengthy discussions, the board generally agreed that Trotter should try to renew negotiations with TDOT and CSX Railroad to hopefully provide a solution for fixing the big pothole on Park Street.
•The board agreed to give property owner Will Clark until Dec. 31 to have a condemned house at 5770 East Main Street torn down and cleared away and the property cleaned up, and if he fails to meet that deadline, the town will seek legal action to take possession of the property and charge Clark with a fine and legal fees. Clark agreed to sign a written agreement to that effect.
•The board passed an ordinance adopting and enacting a codification and revision of the town’s ordinances on a first reading.
•The board gave first reading approval to an ordinance prohibiting the sale and shooting of fireworks inside the town limits with the exceptions of fireworks displays conducted by the city for July 4 and the annual Christmas parade.
•An $82,731 low bid from Fisher Construction of Milan was approved for the construction of an additional bay onto the fire station. Other bids were $131,674 from Rhino Construction of Milan, $117,600 from Dill Construction, and $117,600 from EMSB Construction of Jackson.