Troy officials target deficit, review options
Posted: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 1:08 pm
By: Donna Ryder, Associate Editor
By DONNA RYDER
A 15 percent rate increase for water and sewer rates in Troy should be enough to cover the town’s deficit in the sewer department.
Mayor Jimmie Hart informed the board Monday night he has spoken with a Municipal Technical Advisory Service consultant, who agreed a 15 percent increase should be sufficient.
“We can arrange for a rate study and if the 15 percent is not enough or is too much, we can adjust it,” he said.
The town’s sewer department lost $628 three years ago, $23,549 the following year and $16,166 last year. Hart was recently contacted by the State of Tennessee and informed he was expected to appear at a November meeting to explain the issue and what the town was going to do to correct the problem. If the town’s actions were not approved by the state, the state could have set a rate for Troy itself.
Hart said he wrote and visited the comptroller’s office after the Sept. 20 meeting of the board and the state is satisfied with the town’s actions. He will not be required to meet with state officials in November.
“As badly as we hate to raise anything in town, I make a motion to raise the rates to keep from running a deficit,” alderman Deanna Chappell said. The full board approved the motion.
The base rate for water will increase from $9.85 for the first 2,000 gallons to $11.32. Sewer is charged at 100 percent of the water usage.
In other business, the board:
• Allowed Troy Commun-ity Club to use the senior citizens building to hold a fundraiser breakfast Saturday from 7-10:30 for the club’s needy family Christmas fund.
• Learned a mirror had to be replaced on a patrol car after someone sideswiped it. The offender will pay for the damages.
• Received a copy of the financial statement.
• Received an update on the maintenance building.
• Heard E.W. James and Sons plans to have a soft opening on Monday. The new store replaces one which burned on Halloween in 2009. Hart said the Subway store still has to be moved. The mayor said he is trying to talk E.W. James into keeping the temporary location and making it into a bent and dent, where dented cans would be sold.
• Reported good things about the group using the former ARP church building in town.
• Learned from Hart he is working on getting a Sonic to locate in Troy.
• Discussed the inter-local agreement about fire protection in the county. Fire Chief Mark Watson said the fire committee met and made recommendations to delete a sentence concerning the fee and the number of parcels in one fire district and about residents being required to post house numbers.
The agreement made it out of the budget committee on Monday and will be heading to the full county commission later this month.
The board and Watson then discussed an incident recently in South Fulton where the homeowner had not paid a fire subscription fee and his house burned. “It’s one of the downsides of a subscription plan,” Watson said.
“If they don’t participate and purchase a subscription, then they don’t have service. If they don’t purchase it, they should not expect it,” he said, adding, “It is extremely unfortunate.”
Alderman Ralph Wheat-ley said the incident was a good education for the people of Obion County. “I think a lot of people got educated,” he said.
Hart added that several people called Troy City Hall and one man even came in to pay a subscription fee to make sure he had rural fire coverage. Currently, Troy does not charge a subscription fee.
Watson said he thinks the new plan, which calls for a $75 fee to be collected by Obion County and distributed to the fire departments in the county, should be ready for implementation by July 1, 2011.
Published in The Messenger 10.05.10