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.


World's Largest One-Day Simulcast Leadership Conference Returns To Cleveland

Leadercast, the world’s largest one-day leadership conference, will be broadcast live from Atlanta and simulcast to hundreds of locations around the world on May 6. This year marks the 16th year of the annual leadership conference and the fourth year that the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce and People for Care and Learning will host the event at First Baptist Church.   ... (click for more)

BEST/MATRR Officials Say "TVA Wastes Their Time And Our Money"

TVA Wastes Their Time and Our Money Bellefonte Efficiency and Sustainability Team/Mothers Against Tennessee River Radiation, a chapter of Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League, presented a report on Friday showing TVA’s "waste of money on nuclear power."   The group called for a withdrawal of the operating license for Bellefonte nuclear power plant in Hollywood, Ala.  ... (click for more)

Wintry Mix Possible For Chattanooga Area

A wintry mix is possible for the Chattanooga area beginning Sunday. However, there could be little or no snow and ice unless temperatures dip. Here is the latest forecast from the National Weather Service: MIXED WINTRY PRECIPITATION EXPECTED SUNDAY NIGHT AND MONDAY MORNING... A MIX OF RAIN AND SNOW IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN FALLING ACROSS THE SOUTHERN CUMBERLAND PLATEAU...THE ... (click for more)

Man At Homeless Camp On Chestnut Street Charged With Trying To Set Fire To Another Man

A man at a homeless camp on Chestnut Street has been charged with trying to set fire to another man at the camp. Richard Warren "Trey" Erwin, 40, is charged with aggravated arson. Police were called to the 2200 block of Chestnut at 12:40 a.m. Earlier, Michael Nye and Alisa Buckels had called for an ambulance. They were checked out at Erlanger Hospital for inhalation injuries. ... (click for more)

Black History Month Hero - Theodore McGraw (Kidd) AKA "Pongee" - And Response

I grew up in "Old St. Elmo" on 39th Street behind the Incline. As a child I remember my older brother "Pongee" as being my hero. This month of February being Black History Month, I cannot think of a better person to be honored than my late older brother, Theodore McGraw (Kidd) aka "Pongee" of St. Elmo (Gamble Town). Growing up without my father, Theodore was always available ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Evaluators Earn $11.70

A number of curious job notices, under the heading of ‘General Labor,’ have appeared on various Craigslists, that free Internet portal where you can find everything from a used lawn tractor, guitar lessons or even a saucy Saturday night date. This week on the Charlotte, N.C., Craigslist, for example, there appeared an offer to become a “reader/evaluator” for a company known as Measurement ... (click for more)