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“Theft” by City Hall

The Logo of the Clarksville, TN Gas and Water Department
The Logo of the Clarksville, TN Gas and Water Department

On May 25, 2005, I opened an account with Clarksville Gas and Water Department, and gave a $225 deposit, which I was told would be refunded after four years. Four years later, on May 26, 2009, I applied for the return of my deposit. The clerk and her supervisor told me that new policies instituted by new management prohibit returns until after service ends, and “THE CITY CAN DO WHATEVER IT WANTS”.

I filed suit, charging breach of a legal contract, diversion, and unfair trade practices. No attorney arrived to represent the city in General Sessions Court on July 8, so Judge Shelton phoned the city attorney, Lance Baker. He later met with me, which gave me the opportunity to explain my case and share the evidence. We then went before the clerk, who reset my case for a two-hour trial before Judge Grimes on November 9th.

My evidence includes printouts, from Clarksville Gas and Water Department of my account.

They show my $225 deposit of May 25, 2005, and my billing and payment history for the past four years, with all payments timely made. They also show the May 26, 2009 comments from gas and water employee Becky W., “Cust. called wanted dep. refunded to his account. It has been 4 years since he paid it. I told him that policies have changed, and we do not apply after 4 years. (He) wanted to talk to supervisor. Gave info to TG BW.” Tracy’s (TG BW) comments are, “Spoke with Mr. Cutting regarding the deposits being refunded and that we no longer refund the deposits, that they are held on the account until closed. He stated he has already contacted The Leaf Chronicle and his attorney.”

Other residents that will also not receive their promised deposits, may wish to contact me, as we may have the basis for a class action suit. Do we really want the city of Clarksville to be able to “DO WHATEVER IT WANTS,”  to whoever it wants, regardless of the law, and whom it hurts?

David L. Cutting
Resident of Ward 8

David Cutting
David Cuttinghttp://www.DavidCutting.com/
I am married, and the father of six adult children, all of whom are college graduates, one six-year-old daughter, and one three-year-old daughter. I am also a grandfather of four. I studied architecture at Pratt Institute, and then went to work as a surveyor. Afterwards I worked as a field engineer, responsible for construction supervision of highways and buildings. I joined CBS, becoming Manager of Planning and Cost Engineering, and supervised other engineers and architects. Following this value added experience of 20 years I worked another 20 years as owner of a commercial printing business. My dream for America is peace, love, and justice for all.


  1. I recall at CDE if you paid your bill on time for a period of 3 years, you get your deposit back WITH interest. Its called a DEPOSIT, so legally speaking I suppose they don’t HAVE to give you your money back until they’re sure you won’t skip out on them. Clarksville is a VERY transient community, so I can see their dilemna, but after 4 years, you’d think they could apply some common sense.

  2. The goal here is for them to be able to profit off the interest paid on deposits for the duration of service. For a transient soldier or contractor for the military it’s a small thing, but for longer term residents it can result in a nice income.

    CGW can double the deposit money over a 20 year period at standard savings account interest rates. You can bet they will be putting it into higher yield investments.

    I will point out something they don’t tell you but with good credit they can waive the deposit for you. But you have to ask about it they won’t volunteer it.

  3. CDE returned my $150 deposit after 3 years, without even being asked.
    CGW told me we had to pay a $225 four-year deposit because we were from out-of-state. I filed motions with the court yesterday for subpoena from CGW of evidence and (hostile) witnesses. The next step is a hearing on my motions on 8/17/2009 at 3:30 p.m.

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