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Turley to head FUD board

Zola Turley, a longtime memeber of the First Utility Board of Directors, is the new and first woman president of the board, FUD announced.

Turley was elected to the position at FUD’s January commissioner’s meeting. She has served as a member of the FUD Board of Commission-ers since she was appointed by Knox County Executive Tommy Schumpert in 1995.

Turley, a local business owner, is the first woman to serve as president of any of the Knox County utility districts’ boards.

Originally from Lexington Ky., she and her husband moved to Knoxville in 1973 and started A.C. Valve and Control Corp., an industrial valve and control instrumentation company that distributes parts used in the manufacturing industry.

Last year Turley sold her company and has put all her efforts toward attending to the utility needs of the rapidly growing Southwest area of Knox County.

The Utility District has added almost 10,000 new customers to its lines during her tenure.

“It seems like we are continually in an expansion mode,” Turley said. “The latest expansion of our water treatment plant was finished in nineteen ninety-eight and another multi-million dollar expansion project is scheduled to begin this May. We are also designing a much-needed expansion to our Turkey Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility, which will help us continue to provide excellent wastewater service to our customers and protect the environment.

“Our system is valued at more than a hundred and fifty million dollars. In this business, you have to stay ahead of the growth curve, or you quickly find out that you have problems.”

First Utility, which serves nearly 30,000 accounts, is one of the largest utility districts in the state.

“We are involved in a lot of issues, including economic development, environmental protection and public health. We are here to do what it takes to serve the best interest of our customers by providing the highest level of service at the lowest rates in the county,” Turley said.

More change is coming to First Utilities’ Board. Commissioner and former president William Etter announced his resignation because he is moving out of the county.

Knox County Mayor Mike Ragsdale has appointed David Kubeja to take Etter’s place.

Richard Maples, the third member of the board, was appointed by Mayor Ragsdale in October 2004.

“We have a history of dedicated Board members,” Turley said. “Richard is already making a valuable contribution and I look forward to working with our newest appointment.”


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