I never could understand what the “water war” was all about. It seems that the City of Mountain City was running a deficit in collecting water and/or sewer rates for sometime.
It seems that the State Water and Waste water Financing Board wanted to know why. It would have been more cost effective if the Mayor and Alderman would have corrected the deficiency in rates long before it became an issue with the State of Tennessee. It seems that, they the mayor and Aldermen, should have complied with the state’s mandate originally without having to expend finances to travel to the WWFB.
It seems that even after months of discussions between the Mayor/Aldermen and WWFB and the Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) nothing changed. It seems the MTAS first recommendation was approved and, as the Tomahawk reported, it was an unnecessary trip to appear before the State.
As stated by City Recorder Sheila Shaw the increase will commence in July 2019 and will take at least three years to get out of the red. This could all have been avoided if the City had been more proactive in addressing the rate increase prior to being mandated to do so.
The Mayor’s response that there was a difference between inside and outside the city lacks credence. The rates collected were not sufficient to balance the budget, therefore it makes sense to increase rates prior to having to become ordered to do so. Greater oversite should be undertaken by the Mayor and/or Aldermen in reviewing the city of Mountain City’s various departments to ensure they comply with local, State or Federal requirements. Sometimes common sense seems to disappear when needed most.
George A. Spreyne