Utility board considering new building for Trenton Light & Water

By Crystal Burns

The Trenton Board of Aldermen, acting as the utility board, is considering building a new facility for Trenton Light & Water.

At its May meeting, the board accepted a contract from TLM Architects on the condition that TLM not penalize Trenton Light & Water if the present site fails inspection. The board also accepted the firm’s recommendation of Survey Services Inc. ($5,850) for the survey and Resolution Inc. ($13,758) for haz/mat.

Pending site approval, the board would tear down three of the four structures currently located on the Armory Street lot and replace them with one building that would include office and storage space and bays for utility department vehicles. Interim General Manager Jenny Corbin said there is also a small metal building that Trenton Light & Water would probably keep to store smaller equipment.

Corbin said the main Trenton Light & Water building and at least one of the shops was built in the 1950s and has a flat roof that has required dozens of repairs.

“This roof is just a sieve,” she said. “We’re going to have to do something.”

Corbin said rebuilding is Plan A, but it’s contingent on site approval. If the plan moves forward, Trenton Light & Water could leave one shop as office space until the new facility is built or rent the former bank building across the street. The building is just one of several topics the utility board has discussed in recent months.

Sewer repairs – Through a mutual aid agreement, JEA recently completed sewer line repairs on E. Eaton St., Brownsville St., and N. College St., finishing sooner than expected. The board approved the work at a total cost not to exceed $68,000.

Wastewater treatment plant – The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) approved an extended completion date of March 2019 for the city’s new, $10M wastewater treatment plant, currently under construction on N. College St.

TDEC has also approved a planned contract between with JEA to assist in training and running the new plant until Trenton personnel are licensed to do so. Corbin said the licensing process requires 12-18 months of training on the Sequencing Batch Reactor (SBR).

Water department contract – In February, the board voted unanimously to approve MidSouth Tank Consultants to inspect all three of the city’s water tanks at a cost of $10,200. The inspections are required every five years.

Electric department contract – In March, the board unanimously voted to renew a contract with Chris Mitchell Management Consultants for fiscal year 2019 at a cost of $16,800. Mitchell, a former TVA employee, helps the board make sense of TVA’s complicated rate structure and advises leaders on the best options for their community, Corbin said.

TVA rate increase – In May, the board voted unanimously to pass on a TVA rate increase of 1.8 percent to customers effective Oct. 1. Corbin said the the numbers in October would be different, but used May rates to calculate the increase to the average residential customer’s bill to about $2.14 per month.

The utility board typically meets the fourth Tuesday of the month at 8:30 a.m. at Trenton Light & Water headquarters. In June, however, the board will meet on Friday, June 22 at 8:30 a.m. The department runs meeting notices in The Gazette each month. Meetings are open to the public.

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