Dayton City Council OKs bond issue for water plant expansion

Dayton City Council OKs bond issue for water plant expansion

March 8th, 2012 Tom Davis/Correspondent in News

Rhea County Councilman Bill Graham

DAYTON, Tenn. - Dayton City Council members have taken the first formal steps to expand the city's water treatment plant, authorizing the city manager to prepare a resolution for a bond issue.

The council was advised nearly a year ago that the water plant is nearing its production capacity of 4 million gallons per day and that it will be required to expand production to meet state guidelines.

City Manager Frank Welch said the city's consulting engineer, J.R. Wauford, has investigated ways to finance the project, which is expected to cost some $17 million, including improvements to its distribution network. Wauford recommended a bond issue instead of $2 million from a state loan pool plus a bond issue because of the extra administrative costs attached to a loan.

"Right now, the [bond] market is good, and there are a lot of contractors who do this kind of work looking for work," Welch said.

The council members instructed Welch to contact the Morgan Keegan investment firm to prepare the necessary resolution to begin the process of securing bonds to finance the project.

In other matters, council approved a recommendation from Welch to adopt a "modified time of use" plan for electric billing from TVA, beginning Oct. 1. Welch said the change in pricing does not include a rate increase from the city but will include any changes TVA makes between now and then.

Electric department employees are installing "smart meters" that will allow the city to implement a time-of-day billing system, but Welch said he was not sure all equipment would be in place by October.

Councilman Bill Graham asked if police could make efforts to direct logging trucks heading east on state Route 30 to turn north on Market Street to reach U.S. 27 instead of traveling through the downtown area. Chief of Police Chris Snead said his officers would work on the problem.

Tom Davis is based in Dayton. Contact him at tsdavis@volstate.net.