There will come a time when those opposed to a proposed water rate increase will be able to contact state regulators and make their opinions known, Signal Mountain officials said Monday during their regular monthly meeting. But right now, they noted, it’s hard to know who to contact.
During the past session state lawmakers, at the behest of Governor Bill Haslam, downgraded the agency’s leadership from a four-person, full-time board to a five-person, part-time board and a full-time executive director.
To date, however, three of the five board positions remain vacant – leaving the authority without a quorum – and no executive director has been named.
The six-month clock is already counting down on Tennessee American’s rate increase request, which was filed with TRA on June 1. If the authority does not make a decision by November, the requested increase will take effect automatically, officials have said.
Signal Mountain attorney Phil Noblett said his understanding is that the proposed increase is tentatively scheduled to be heard by TRA in September.
In response to a question from the audience, Mayor Bill Lusk and other officials said they believe letters from citizens opposing the increase will be effective, but “at this time it’s hard to know who to address them to."
However, they noted, the town will provide regular updates at meetings and on its website as it obtains more information.