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The Tennessee Water and Wastewater Financing Board approved recent actions by the City of La Vergne that were required to be removed from the distressed water system list.
During the Board’s meeting Thursday, July 14, the State Comptroller’s Office recommended the board endorse the rate increase that would stop the “negative change in net assets” – or being in the red. It was unanimously passed.
“While I know many of our citizens are angry about the increased water fees, it is a huge relief that the state accepted the changes we had to make,” Mayor Senna Mosley said. “Had the state taken over our system, there is no way to know what would have happened. We are no longer a distressed water system and this is a major step forward for the city.”
Additionally, the board has recommended that La Vergne conduct another rate study and report back to the state should the U.S. Corps of Engineers succeed in its effort to charge the city an additional $2.2 million for La Vergne’s portion of water storage rights at Percy Priest Lake.
La Vergne, Smyrna, Murfreesboro and Consolidated Utility District’s systems were informed by the Corps several months ago that the formula and models used by the Corps to calculate the amount of reserve required might have been flawed, so a higher fee would be charged.
The cities are working together to determine actions to be taken, if any.
The current rate structure, however, was accepted by the state after the La Vergne made changes in order to be removed from the distressed water system list.
Collected money will be used to both pay Nashville for sewage removal and to make repairs on the run-down water and sewer systems.
For example, the McFarlin Pointe Pump Station this week had a leak resulting from a deteriorated discharge pipe.
The city’s hazardous materials team responded along with the Public Works sewer personnel and contained the leak, preventing a potential spill.
A temporary repair has been made which should alleviate any potential odor problems from the break.
The repairs to replace the pipe began Thursday morning.
Additional water and sewer system repairs will now be ongoing.