By Clinton Gill
The Tansi Sewer Utility District is considering petitioning the state to increase its daily usage allowance to increase capacity at the wastewater treatment facility.
Currently, the district’s operating permit limits treatment and discharge to 50,000 gallons a day. That permit remains in effect through May 31, 2016.
During discussion at the May 14 meeting of the TSUD Board of Commissioners, it was said a limit of 80,000 gallons a day would allow for more expansion of the system. Doing so, though, could reduce the longevity of the treatment facility.
The issue was tabled pending consultation with Darian Dykes, sewer plant supervisor.
The board also discussed establishing requirements for commissioners and employees in the future.
To qualify to serve as a commissioner, a person must reside within the boundaries of the utility district, or be a customer of the utility district. The office of any commissioner will become vacant if the incumbent ceases to reside in or be a customer of the utility district. Any vacancies in the board of commissioners shall be filled by the remaining commissioners.
Exclusions include some of the following:
• Those who have been convicted of offering or giving a bribe, or of larceny, or any other offense declared infamous by law, unless restored to citizenship in the mode pointed out by law;
• Those against whom there is a judgment unpaid for any moneys received by them, in any official capacity, due to the United States, to Tennessee or any county in this state;
• Those who are defaulters to the treasury at the time of the election – the election of any such person shall be void;
• Those who have served on the board of the the Lake Tansi POA in the last five years, or had any involvement with the development of Tansi Waste Management and/or Tansi Sewer Utility;
• Those who have been involved with any party that has tried to keep the district from expanding into the community;
• Those who have signed any type of petition against Tansi Sewer Utility. They also must not be involved in any prior or pending legal matter against the utility or any member of a named party;
• Anyone who hasn’t had experience in management or business-type setting;
• Candidates may not be an employee or retiree of a utility company;
• Candidates must be at least 25 years old.
Approval of these requirements is pending until the June meeting in order to give the public an opportunity for review.
The board is also seeking new legal representation after being notified its attorney Don Scholes would no longer be able to represent the embattled utility district.
Three lawyers were invited to apply to represent TSUD going forward and one, Crossville attorney Randol Boston, met with the TSUD board during the meeting. The public meeting was recessed to a private session, citing TCA 68-11-238, marketing strategies and strategic plans — confidentiality of records and closed meetings, which refers to hospitals that are subject to Tennessee Open Meetings Law, or Sunshine law.
Board President Trey Kerley told the Chronicle, “In my opinion, we didn’t conduct business or discuss anything. I don’t believe we violated the Sunshine Law.”
Tennessee’s Sunshine law requires public policy and decisions not be conducted in secret. There is an exception for attorney-client communications that allows an attorney to meet with a client subject to the Sunshine Law for the purpose of discussing present and pending litigation.
Boston has not been hired as the TSUD attorney.
Heather Mullinix, assistant editor of the Crossville Chronicle, contributed to this report.