Macon County Chronicle

RBS Council Considers School Sewer Upgrades

Red Boiling Springs principal Don Jones spoke during this month’s RBS City Council meeting on Thursday, February 12, addressing the issue of possible sewer upgrades to the school’s softball and football field houses.

“The request I’d like to make is in order to upgrade facilities and get our softball field house going and to ensure that later on, the football field house also has its restrooms in working order to extend the sewer line up to the football field house where we can attach onto those. Currently the softball field house restrooms aren’t hooked up because there’s been a debate between putting in a septic line or trying to have a sewer line ran up. I understand that on our bill for the football field house, for X amount of years, we have been paying a sewer fee for that, so I’m here tonight to ask you to extend that line up to the football field house or somewhere reasonably close so we can run the football field, visitors field house and softball field house into the line.”

Red Boiling Springs Wastewater Superintendent Chad Owens and Larry Cato of Barge, Waggoner, Sumner & Cannon, reported that an estimated 1,200 to 1,400 feet of new line would have to put in, along with manholes, to tie the school into the city sewer line located on Hwy 151 near the city park.

“We used the bid that we took back in June when we bid the project taking the line up to the Donoho Hotel,” Cato stated. “We used those numbers as our reference because they’re current numbers. The best that Chad and I could come up with, to lay a gravity line from the city to the school with engineering costs, survey costs, construction costs and easement costs, is somewhere between $115,000 to $120,000.”

Cato further stated that Owens contacted a local company to inquire about a second option - putting in a pump at the softball field house and running it to the school’s existing pump for a lower cost of $9,500 to $10,000.

After hearing both estimates and the need to upgrade the school’s sewer system, the council voted to table the topic until next month’s meeting or a special called meeting and elected Owens and city council member Ray Bilbrey to seek out the best route for the project, in the event that bids would be taken.

The second big topic of discussion was resolution #02-12-09, which increases the charges for physical copies of city records from 25 cents per black and white page to $1. The resolution, which was adopted, also requires $1.50 per page for each colored copy and $1 per page for accident reports.

The resolution carried with a vote of 5-1 with council member Shelly Dean voicing her opposition to its passage.

“ . . . I’m questioning why we’re quadrupling the charge,” she remarked. “According to the comptroller’s office we cannot charge absorbent charges as a deterrent to keep people from coming in an asking for copies. A dollar a copy seems exorbitant.”

City Attorney Jon Wells stated that the resolution was sent to every city in Tennessee in the hopes of creating a statewide uniform amount for copies of records.
“If I come to city hall and request a copy, it’s important for me to get that copy,” said council member Ray Bilbrey in defense of the higher charge. “And if it’s not worth a dollar to me than it’s not worth anything . . . I don’t see anything outrageous about the cost.”

Referring to the numerous copies of city records requested by RBS resident Jack Pelham a few months ago, Bilbrey went on to state his reasoning for supporting the charges.

“We had a gentleman here in town that came in and wanted half of the records we had in city hall, which was absurd to begin with and there was no point in it. You run into something like that, where you tie up these girls in the office for a day or two running records, then you should pay for it.”  

Red Boiling Springs Mayor Kenneth Hollis was absent during the meeting. Chairman Bobby Etheridge presided.

In other business:

•    A city employee pay scale meeting was set for Friday, February 20th, at 1 p.m. at city hall.

•    Larry Cato of Barge, Waggoner, Sumner & Cannon announced that a water rate study along with possible alternate city water sources would be presented at the March city council meeting.

•    Fire Department: Justin Copas resigned from the department and John Key was put on a 90-day probationary period to fill Copas’ position.

•    The council voted to set aside $50,000 from the Park Department fund to use for road repairs.