After sending notification letters that certain Lenoir City Utilities Board customers will be charged a cross connection inspection fee this year, board members discussed changing the wording of future letters to clear up confusion.
The letters were only sent to those LCUB knew had cross connection devices between a potable water system and any source of contamination, such as through swimming pools or an irrigation system. Board members agreed the letters could have raised questions.
"I wish you would clarify this letter because we are fixing to get beat up on this because all people are thinking they are fixing to pay," Councilman Harry Wampler said.
LCUB General Manager Shannon Littleton stressed only certain customers would be charged the fee, which will be a decrease from the $65 inspection fee customers are paying now. Starting this year, customers will be charged an annual $51.50 per device/customer.
"Yeah, it needs to say in there somewhere that it is only the people who have an irrigation system or swimming pool or whatever," Councilman Eddie Simpson said. "I really think it should have said that."
LCUB will pay 92 cents per customer for Tennessee Utility Assistance, LLC to complete the state-required Cross Connection Control Program. Littleton said the expense will cost the utility roughly $6,000-8,000.
"I think the other side to the equation is we don't know who all has a cross connection. We will have to get someone to walk this entire system and look at every single house. We don't have time to do that with the short staff that we have now and they are going to administer this for much, much less dollars that it is going to cost an employee's time at LCUB," Littleton said.
Board members voted unanimously to approve the item.