EPB Says "Massive" Audit On Streetlight Charges To Take Longer Than Expected

Thursday, June 26, 2014

EPB officials said Thursday that a "massive" audit involving charges to the city for the streetlight program is taking more time than expected.

Vicky Gregg, EPB board member who heads the audit committee, said auditor Warren McEwen said it could not be ready by July 1 as requested by Mayor Andy Berke. He set a new date of July 21.

Harold DePriest, EPB president, said he remains convinced that there was no "over-billing" of the city.

But he said EPB wants to get to the exact figures to make sure. "We want to do what is right," he said.

Mr. DePriest said in some cases it is necessary to go back beyond 15 years for the computation involving whether there was a charge for the old mercury vapor lights or the later high-pressure sodium lights.

The issue arose after the city, under the Littlefield administration, entered into a contract with the local Global Green Lighting firm for a major program to swap out all the 26,000 lights in favor of new LED lights.

However, Mayor Berke reversed that policy and passed a budget that pays only to put in LED lights as older bulbs burn out.

Mr. DePriest said EPB replaces some 1,000 lights per year for the city.

It was explained that when lights are replaced before their useful life that it involves "stranded asset accounting." He said it is like buying a new car with a five-year note and then replacing it with another car after two years. He said, "You still owe payments on the first car."

Mr. DePriest said the high-pressure sodium lights used less energy than the mercury vapor lights, but cost three times as much. "Basically, it was a wash," he said.

Ms. Gregg said she wants the EPB auditors to work closely with City Auditor Stan Sewell in gathering the numbers. "We don't want dueling audits that will require a third one," she said.

 


New Hiener Book Of Historic Chattanooga Photos Available At Zarzours

The new Paul Hiener Historic Chattanooga Photos book published by Chattanoogan.com is available at Zarzours Restaurant. Zarzours is located on the Southside on Rossville Avenue behind the Main Street Fire Hall #1. Mr. Hiener, a longtime Chattanooga printer and lifelong resident, collected over 3,000 historic pictures of his beloved hometown. He made some of the photos ... (click for more)

Alexander Says Senate On Track To Pass “Most Important Bill Of The Year”

Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander on Monday said the United States Senate is on track to pass what Majority Leader McConnell has called “the most important legislation Congress will pass this year,” after senators invoked cloture on the 21st Century Cures Act, setting up a vote for final Senate passage of the bill.  “For the second year in a row, the Senate ... (click for more)

Signal Mountain Couldn't Manage Public Education

I have been reading the buzz about Signal Mountain and other small municipalities considering a move to form their own school district within their municipal boundaries.  It is quite the comedy hour considering the notion that small cities that for decades could not even manage small sewer systems or 911 districts, are somehow going to do a better job with public education ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: School Board Can’t Wait

It took the Hamilton County School board nine months before the group hired a search firm to find a new superintendent. But you mark my words – the Department of Education will undoubtedly implode if our leaders wait another nine months simply hoping for some type of mystical salvation. In the last week Signal Mountain leaders have all but given notice they will form their own district ... (click for more)

Mississippi State Quarterback Nick Tiano To Play At UTC

Former Baylor School quarterback Nick Tiano announced Monday that he is transferring from Mississippi State to UTC. He tweeted, "I'm very excited to announce that I am going back home to play for The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga! # GoMoc" Tiano had announced five days ago that he was leaving the Bulldogs after his freshman year. Tiano appeared in four ... (click for more)

Jones Will "Thoroughly Examine Everything In UT Program"

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – Tennessee football coach  and seniors Joshua Dobbs and LaTroy Lewis met with reporters on Monday in their first press conference for the Music City Bowl in Nashville. Unranked Tennessee (8-4) will play Nebraska (9-3) in the Dec. 30 at Nissan Stadium. The game will feature a 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff on ESPN. The Cornhuskers are No. 21 in the ... (click for more)