Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Tansi Smoke Signals

December 19, 2013

Business as usual at TSUD

CROSSVILLE — As of Dec. 10 there is still no news to report regarding the fate of the Tansi Sewer Utility District. The commissioners have been advised by their attorney to "continue with business as usual until told otherwise."

His exact words were, 'It could take a while,'" said Commissioner Trey Kerley. "So, that's pretty much where we stand there."

TSUD is still considered a utility in distress. They have been advised by the Utility Management Review Board to increase their rates dramatically. However, Joyce Welborn of the Division of Local Government Audit has recommended to the review board that any decisions be deferred until the lawsuit is settled.

"People ask, if this plant goes back to a private entity, if the POA or RCI or someone else takes it over, and they don't want to be part of the sewer system again, is there state law somewhere that says that they can go back, or cannot go back, to a septic system?" asked Virgil Ferguson. "We, as a utility, cannot cut off sewer, because it would be a health hazard. If a residence can put a septic tank back in and take care of their problem, it would not be a health hazard. My question is, if someone wanted to go back to a septic system, could they do that? Is there state law against it?"

"Private utilities don't fall under state guidelines," said Kerley. "Us as a utility that's distressed, giving back those assets will create a whole new utility. The hundred dollars was only if we maintained the plant as it is now," Kerley continued, "I don't see the need to be scaring people saying you'll have a hundred dollar sewer bill when pretty much that's incorrect."

"If somebody was sitting there with a thought that their sewer was gonna be a hundred dollars a month, and that could go on forever, and maybe even more if it's a small utility, if somebody buys it they could charge anything they wanted to," said Ferguson. "But if these people can get out from under that utility rate by putting a septic tank back in, then I think somebody may want to do that."

In the case of residents who would like to revert back to a septic system, aside from any legal prohibitions there would still be some level of difficulty.

According to the "How Stuff Works" website, a septic tank is simply a big concrete or steel tank that is buried in the yard. Wastewater flows into the tank at one end and leaves the tank at the other. A septic tank is expected to hold solid wastes until they are liquefied or pumped out. While a drain field, also called a leach field, is a network of troughs with pipes punched with holes buried in the trenches and surrounded with gravel. A drain field is connected to the septic tank and is intended to get rid of impurities and toxins from the liquid that flows out of the septic tank. It also allows the waste liquid or water coming from the septic tank to be absorbed by the soil. When residents hook up to sewer systems, their septic tanks are decommissioned. The top cover of the septic tank is removed and crushed into the septic tank. The septic tank is then filled with sand, gravel, earth, concrete or other approved material. Therefore a new septic tank and drain field would have to be installed, which could be quite expensive.

Regarding the legality of reverting back to a septic system, TSUD commissioners have sent an inquiry to John Hall, who serves as an executive with the Tennessee Association of Utility Districts. As for the bankruptcy, a court date has been set for Dec. 19 in Cookeville, though it's doubtful that any major decisions will be made. Until the attorneys decide on a resolution, TSUD will continue with business as usual.

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Tansi Smoke Signals
  • Welcome 1.jpg Lake Tansi welcomes new recreation director

    A lot of people have visited Cumberland County, liked what they saw and eventually bought a house. Can Betty Gates be included in that group? Well, yes and no.  She came to Cumberland County to visit her brother who had retired from the United States Air Force. He took her on a tour of the area, including a drive through Tansi on Dunbar Rd. One of his neighbors, a real estate agent, also took her on a tour where he showed her a number of houses, one of which she bought. It was just two days after she arrived at her brother’s house. Here’s how she described the moment: “I have landed on my mountain.”  That was near the end of 2008.

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  • Gratitude 1.jpg A letter of gratitude for Ken Soncrant

    Lake Tansi members were flabbergasted by the recent resignation of Recreation Department Director Ken Soncrant after 10 years of service and dedication to the community. After his resignation was accepted by the Tansi POA board, he was recognized for his commitment to Lake Tansi.

    March 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Membership shows support for amenity improvements

    After the failed request in 2013 for approval of a one-time $100 assessment, some Lake Tansi members are showing their resilience and determination.

    March 26, 2014

  • Get ready for a season of fun!

    I am so happy to be your new Recreation Director and what a perfect time to spring into action for a fresh new season of fun, activities and events. Watch for all our new events in the Smoke 
Signals and pick up our calendar and bulletin so you can spring into action with us.

    March 26, 2014

  • Lake Tansi members give of time, talents and dollars for community

    Many Lake Tansi Village members continue to volunteer their time, effort, and dollars to help our community retain the image it has achieved through the years.

    March 26, 2014

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    March 26, 2014 3 Photos

  • Quack Shack preparing for second summer

    The Quack Shack is looking forward to the second summer at the Lake Tansi Beach, keeping the same great menu, and continuing the Thursday night Dinner on the Deck with live music and great new foods. This summer, the Quack Shack will still offer our stress free party packages. The beach activities have been expanded with more bonfires and movies nights. Please come out and enjoy all the actives planned for this summer.

    March 26, 2014

  • Lake Tansi getting ready for spring activities

    Spring is here. It is time to start looking forward to a new and exciting year here at Lake Tansi. As you are aware, we have a new Recreation Director, Betty Gates. Betty has some outstanding new ideas and programs she is going to introduce that are going to be a great asset to our community and our guests who visit this year. Be watching the Smoke Signals and email blasts for new upcoming events.

    March 26, 2014

  • Community Association to meet April 15

    The Lake Tansi Community Association is pleased to present the Plateau Old-time German band for your entertainment on April 15. This local German oompah band is made up of members of the Cumberland County Community Band.

    March 26, 2014

  • Ladies Golf kicks off season with luncheon

    The Lake Tansi Ladies Golf Association will be holding their spring luncheon at Killeen's on the Green on Thursday, April 3. Registration begins at 11 a.m. and lunch will be served at noon. Killeen's needs a head count, so please sign up in the ladies locker room at the Pro Shop before March 26.

    March 26, 2014

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