The Clarksville City Council met in regular session on Thursday April 8th 2011, topics covered included Gas & Water payment plans, Renewing the CDE Lightband Franchise Agreement, the East-West Corridor, and road construction projects.
There were two issues of note.
Gas & Water
A new rule will soon allow water users that have an unexplained water usage/bill spike to pay off, one time, an unexplained high bill in installments. This may sound a bit unusual, but every now and then a resident will have a water bill that goes off the chart. It can be hundreds of dollars when they usually have a $50 or $75 monthly bill. Gas & Water will check the meter, check for leaks, and the homeowner will check for leaks. A payment plan is allowed when a leak is found. However, when no problems are found, the bill must be paid in full in one payment.
It seems that these problems happen when the homeowner is out of town for most of a month and on another occasion I believe a next-door neighbor was stealing water. This will be a one-time offer and the amount must be 5-times over the past 12 month average.
This passed in an 11-yes and 0-no vote. Councilman Wallace was absent tonight.
Renewing the cable television franchise agreement
The CDE Lightband agreement to furnish cable/phone/internet is up for renewal. This passed in a 9-yes and 2-no vote. Councilmen Burkhart and Harris voted against it.
According to the information provided by manager of the telecom side at tonight’s meeting, CDE Telecom is finally breaking even. This is roughly 18 months (2012) ahead of the business plan that was developed after the initial fiasco on installation and operation of telecom services. Starting this July, the Telecom side of CDE will start repaying the Electric side for the money borrowed to get cable/internet/phone services going. This is a major development in getting the Telecom side operating in the black. It is also a major issue by TVA to see the Electric side getting repaid.
It was surprising that any council members voted against the franchise agreement. I say this due to the fact that if the Telecom operations were not renewed and given a chance to meet the business plan projects, which they are now doing, then the tens of millions of dollars borrowed to start it would have to be repaid by the city taxpayers. I don’t believe anyone wants their property tax raised to pay off loans for Telecom, especially at a time when they appear to have turned the financial corner.
While there may be issues of politics, personnel and business with CDE, this was a business issue.
The study is back and a special session of the council will be held on April 26 to have the engineering consultants provide the results and answer any questions.
Non-council Session Info
Bids to construct the multiple turn lanes at Madison and Hwy 76/MKL and Richview/Madison should go out within the next 60 days. Construction could start early summer. We have been working this for almost four years. The intersection of Riverside and 48/13 is also part of this effort.
Paving is underway in my ward in the Villages neighborhood and on Trough Springs.
Progress continues on the city portion of the Sango Road/Hwy 76-MLK intersection. I hope all state approvals may be gained by late summer. We will keep working on funding stoplight efforts in the Exit 11/Sango/Hwy 76 intersections.
Fort Defiance had an invitation-only opening today. It looks great. It opens to the public on Saturday. Many events will happen this weekend, including cannon shots every two hours. Check it out.
That is a wrap.