EPB Banking On "Normal Weather", But That Is Not The New Norm

Thursday, June 26, 2014

EPB officials said in the new budget they are hoping for "normal weather," but that has not been the norm in recent years.

Harold DePriest, EPB president, said in earlier years the utility spent about $2 million per year for storm damage caused by volatile weather.

But in recent years that number has soared, including the over $30 million spent in the year of the deadly tornadoes - 2011. EPB's cost, after FEMA payments, was $9 million for 2011.

EPB now budgets $4.2 million for annual storm cleanup.

Mr. DePriest said the high cost of storm damage has been a big blow to the electric budget. But he said the surge of income from the utility's newer businesses has more than made up for it.

EPB brought in $27 million from the non-electrical side this year.

Mr. DePriest said without that new-found income, "We would be looking at a five percent electric rate increase this year."

There are currently 64,000 customers for phone, TV and Internet, and it is expected to rise to over 70,000 by the end of the coming fiscal year.

The original model for the side businesses was to have at least 43,000 sign up.

Board Chairman Joe Ferguson said the board needs to get a handle on the appropriations it gives to groups in the community that promote economic development. He asked that the staff compile a list of those currently receiving funds and those expected to make requests.

EPB has been a big contributor to the Chamber of Commerce for its economic development efforts, including the period when it was courting Volkswagen.

Kim White of the River City Company recently asked EPB to provide $25,000 per year over the next four years to go for staff salaries.

Officials said the line item for such requests has been raised from $300,000 to $330,000.



TVA Opens Public Comment Period On Scope Of Integrated Resource Plan Update

The Tennessee Valley Authority kicked off a public comment period on Feb. 15, related to the initial process phase for updating its Integrated Resource Plan, the agency’s long-term energy resource strategy.  To ensure that the full range of issues and a comprehensive portfolio of energy resources are addressed, TVA invites members of the public, customers, businesses, employees, ... (click for more)

January Tennessee Revenues Less Than Expected

Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration Commissioner Larry Martin Tuesday announced that overall January state tax revenues posted less than expected, while year-to-date state revenues remain more than budgeted. Revenues for January totaled $1.4 billion, and were 3.18 percent less than revenues received in the same time period one year ago, and were $25 million less than ... (click for more)

Witness Says Christopher Turner Shot Jamichael Eddins Multiple Times After He Was Already Down At Carousel Road

Police said Christopher Lashawn Turner stood over 24-year-old Jamichael Eddins on Carousel Road late Tuesday afternoon and fired multiple shots into him after shooting him moments before.   Turner, 26, of 1203 Sholar Ave., was charged with criminal homicide, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment and possession of a firearm.   Randall Davenport, 28, was ... (click for more)

County Commission Approves Sizable Pay Increase For Magistrates

The County Commission has approved a sizable pay raise for its four magistrates, taking them from the current $66,000 per year to $92,000 by 2021. The raises will take effect beginning with new terms for magistrates. Two of the current magistrates are up for re-appointment in May. Their pay level will become $80,000. It will rise by $4,000 per year until reaching the $92,000. ... (click for more)

Reflections On Billy Graham

Sandra and I are saddened this morning after learning of the death of Billy Graham. We rejoice today, because Mr. Graham once said "It will be reported that Billy Graham has died, but that won't be the truth. He said the truth is that he had only moved to a new location".  I remember when we named 15th Street as Billy Graham Avenue, his daughter Gigi came for the dedication ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: One Principal’s Reaction

On the morning after the mass shooting in Florida last week, a 17-year-old at Ledyard High School in Connecticut made an offhand comment during his first period class, “I could buy an AR-15.” At that, all the teachers panicked. Really. The school was soon so rattled by the comment the principal called the cops. And those five words got the child shackled, taken into custody, and ... (click for more)