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LCUB seeks to relocate to First National Bank building

Lenoir City Utilities Board may be moving its offices.

At its regularly called meeting Monday, July 21, the Board authorized LCUB management to continue negotiations with First National Bank for purchasing the Bank’s Broadway location.

LCUB’s current offices are located behind First National Bank, in a building it shares with a fire station.

Lenoir City mayor Matt Brookshire reassured residents that the Bank had promised to keep a branch open downtown.

“Our position is that this is a good deal only if First National Bank keeps an office downtown, and up to this point, First National Bank has pledged to do that,” Brookshire said.

The Board also voted to hire a contractor to perform Tennessee Valley Authority heat pump installation inspections.

Historically, TVA has offered a loan program that allows customers to purchase heat pumps. TVA then requires the inspection of these heat pumps at the time of installation. However, due to budget cuts, TVA is no longer providing inspectors.

“T-V-A provides this, but they’re going out of the inspection business,” said LCUB general manager Fred Nelson.

“It’s just another program T-V-A is trying to cut back with,” he added.

This decision has left LCUB to find its own inspectors.

“We’ve either got to look at getting out of the heat pump installing or spending some money and staying in it,” Nelson said.

At this time, TVA is reimbursing LCUB $150 for each inspection.

“What we don’t know is what is T-V-A going to do September the first,” Nelson said.

“I can not get T-V-A to tell me … if T-V-A is still going to pay us a portion of this inspection [cost] and [I] can’t get an answer,” he added.

If TVA were to quit funding LCUB to pay inspectors, customers could be charged the cost of the inspection.

“I can’t say what’s going to happen after six months,” Nelson said, adding that on Sept. 1, TVA may choose to cut the loan program completely.

If the program is cancelled, it will not affect anyone who already has a heat pump through a TVA loan. However, LCUB will not be able to accept any new customers to the program if TVA cuts it.

The Board voted to hire Jim Carpenter, a former TVA inspector, for a trial period of six months.

In other business, the Board:

• Approved annual gas, water and sewer material bids.

• Approved annual gas meter and regulator bids.

• Authorized the water department to seek bids for water meter casing and lids for fiscal year 2009.

• Awarded a bid to Adams and Sons, Inc., for the Highland Park water system improvements, for $987,500.

• Approved a professional engineering contract for Fulghum, Macindoe and Associates, Inc., for gravity sewer system improvements.

• Voted to hire Greta Johnson to fill the vacant position of telephone operator.

• Voted to hire Chris Ingram to fill the vacant position of water, gas and sewer apprenticeman.


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