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.

 


PHOTOS: Swearing In Ceremony At Convention Center

County officials were sworn in during ceremonies Tuesday morning at the Convention Center (click for more)

Woman's Body Found In River Was Latasha Nichols

Family members say the woman's body found in the Hiwassee River was that of 34-year-old Latasha Nichols. She was reported missing last month. The family said DNA testing was conclusive that the body was hers. Family members say they want to know what caused her death. The viewing will be Wednesday from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at Jim Rush Funeral Homes in Cleveland. The ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library - And Response

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)

Silverdale Dishes Up 3-1 District 5-A Volleyball Victory

Silverdale Baptist Academy’s volleyball team served up a four-set victory over District 5-A rival Chattanooga Schools for the Arts and Sciences on Tuesday. The Lady Seahawks got a combined 17 service aces from Molly Rumfelt and Caroline Couch and posted a 3-1 win over the Lady Patriots at Silverdale. The set scores were 25-15, 25-18, 22-25, 25-11. Rumfelt, the only senior ... (click for more)

Soddy Daisy Soccer Tops Ooltewah, 5-1

Sophomore midfielder Soni Whalen scored two goals and senior Baylee Burk had a goal and an assist to lead Soddy Daisy to a 5-1 District 5-AAA girls soccer win against host Ooltewah Tuesday night. Carly Pifer and Kelsey Henry also scored for the victorious Trojans. Ooltewah's goal came in the 76th minute by Olivia Tawzer. Soddy Daisy improves to 3-2-1 overall and ... (click for more)