Water Company Surcharge Is Approved

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Tennessee Regulatory Authority has approved Tennessee-American Water Company's request for a surcharge that the company says collectively covers approximately $7.5 million in local water infrastructure improvements that the company has made or will make in 2014. 

The October 4, 2013, filing was the first of its kind by Tennessee American Water and was the result of implementation of new state legislation passed by the Tennessee General Assembly. The new law "encourages the TRA to consider alternative rate mechanisms to ensure continued reliability and quality of service, as well as to promote local economic development."

Deron Allen, president of Tennessee American Water, said, "Similar alternative rate mechanisms are being used in other states to encourage ongoing infrastructure replacement (pipes, pumps, hydrants, etc.) at necessary levels while holding down the overall costs for the filing and administration of general rate cases with state commissions. The goal of the new riders and an expense tracker is to allow Tennessee American Water to continue making necessary investments in the local water system’s infrastructure with minimal impact to customers’ rates.

“Our goal is to keep the local water system strong and viable today and for generations to come. Ignoring the infrastructure needs of our water system, over time, would be a dis-service to our customers and community.”

The average total impact for a residential customer in Chattanooga would be approximately 23 cents per month for all three riders. However, for 2014 bills, customers will actually see a decrease of 2 cents as a result of decreased fee tracker expenses in 2013. 

Mr. Allen said, "Communities across the country are facing challenges of operating aging water infrastructure and the need to increase rates to fund critical improvements.  According to the American Society of Civil Engineers 2013 Report Card, communities throughout Tennessee collectively will need to spend approximately $3.5 billion during the next 20 years to renew and replace their water infrastructure needs."

The initial filing was made in October 2013, and it was reviewed by the TRA, the Tennessee Attorney General Consumer Advocate Protection Division, and others before a decision on the proposed surcharge was made.

A look at the components of the infrastructure funding mechanism:

 ·         The Qualified Infrastructure Improvement Program Rider is an incremental surcharge to a customer’s bill to cover the replacement of water mains, fire hydrants, water meters, production plant structures and equipment, etc. 

·         The Economic Development Investment Rider is an incremental surcharge to a customer’s bill to cover the capital investment and operational expenses related specifically to economic development.  Examples include water main construction to new development areas or projects that may add jobs to the area.

·         The Safety and Environmental Compliance Rider is an incremental surcharge to a customer’s bill to cover the capital investment and operational expenses related specifically to safety and environmental compliance. 

·         The Purchased Power, Chemical, Purchased Water, Waste Disposal and TRA Inspection Fee tracker allows these expenses to be trued up for increases or decreases within a given year.


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: AVIU, ALDRIN  3881 RUFUS RD MASON,  Age at Arrest: 31 years old Arresting Agency: Chattanooga CRIMINAL IMPERSONATION --- BIRO, ANDREW  5916 THURMAN LN HIXSON, 37343  Age at Arrest: 26 years old Arresting Agency: Hamilton County VIOLATION OF PROBATION (DISORDERLY CONDUCT) VIOLATION ... (click for more)

Cleveland Honored By Environmental Health Association

The city of Cleveland has been chosen to receive the 2016 Community Partnership Award presented by the Tennessee Environmental Health Association, Mayor Tom Rowland said Monday. The award is given to an individual or organization that has made significant impact either on the profession of environmental health or the environmental health of the community. This is the first ... (click for more)

Make America Good Again - And Response

“No people can be great, who have ceased to be virtuous.”   Samuel Johnson (1709 – 1784) Last week I witnessed first hand the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio. As I observed the happenings within the Quicken Arena, the one theme that continued to pop up again and again, was  Make America Great Again .  Of course, that being ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Keep Mike Carter’s Genius

Mike Carter, who has just been chosen as the “Best Overall” member of the Tennessee Legislature by a group known as the Tennessee Forum and “Legislator of the Year” by Citizens for Home Rule, is truly both. A lawyer and then a Sessions Court judge for 8 ½ years, he is overwhelmingly favored to win a third term during next Thursday’s election and rightly so. While it is laudable ... (click for more)

Dunbar Promoted To Head Wrestling Job At Ooltewah

J.D. Dunbar had been promoted to head wrestling coach at Ooltewah High School. Dunbar, an assistant with the Owls’ mat program since 2012, becomes a head coach for the first time at the high school level. He replaces Bryant Blackmon, who recently resigned. The 36-year-old Dunbar is also the school’s strength and conditioning coach and assistant head football coach on ... (click for more)

Another Big Week For Chattanooga Football Club

More than 10,000 fans gathered at Finley Stadium last Saturday to see a 5-3 penalty kick win over Miami United.   CFC keeper Gregga Hartley made a save and scored the winning penalty kick, helping his team to advance to the national semifinals on Saturday.  They will host Sonoma County Sol at 7:30 in the comfy confines of "Fort Finley"  Chattanooga is the top ... (click for more)