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LCUB approves street sweeper purchase


Lenoir City Utilities Board considered the pros and cons of cost sharing street-sweeping equipment with Lenoir City at its meeting Monday afternoon, Oct. 17.

“I know that sounds odd,” general manager Shannon Littleton said of the proposal.

But LCUB had budgeted for its own street-sweeping equipment in the future, he said, and cost sharing with Lenoir City could be advantageous, particularly if it meant LCUB properties would be swept for free.

The benefits of frequent sweeping particularly would be seen at LCUB properties that accumulate debris or gravel in parking lots.

“The rock really wreaks havoc on those parking lots with new pavement, like at our wastewater treatment plant.

“It’s a lot to maintain,” Littleton said.

LCUB auditors were uncomfortable with a 50/50 cost split with the City, Littleton said, and there could be “hurdles to jump through for a large amount of participation” on the behalf of LCUB.


There’s no cost estimate on the street-sweeping equipment yet; Lenoir City Council (comprised of many of the same members of LCUB) only recently approved going out for bids.

Councilman Mike Henline moved to allow Littleton to negotiate a cost share with Lenoir City; Knox County representative Pat Beasley seconded and the motion unanimously was approved with two councilmen absent.

“It will benefit the people, the ratepayers ... the utility and the City,” Henline said of a possible future arrangement.

In other business, LCUB heard updates on the gas, electric, water and wastewater departments.

Littleton said he was considering increasing a bond issue in the gas department from $1 million to $1.6 million. He also announced LCUB had “taken exception” to a letter from a regulatory board alleging the utility had “a tremendous number of violations with our drug and alcohol policy.”

Littleton said LCUB was still trying to close out construction at its new wastewater treatment plant, and likely would face an EPA audit once finished, because of certain funding arrangements.

He also passed out a recent TVA district report recommending utilities keep three months of cash on hand to cover energy wholesale costs.

“That would be between $22 and $46 million for LCUB. We’re not quite there, not quite there even at that low number.

“It’s something to strive for,” Littleton said.

 

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