Jasper leaders approve counterproposal to Tennessee American Water purchase offer

Alderman Josh Jennings discusses the situation with the Jasper fire department's finances at the Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen June meeting.

JASPER, Tenn. - A thorough evaluation of Jasper's water and sewer systems is needed before Tennessee American Water can determine their value.

In May, the Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted to reopen discussions with the Chattanooga company about the potential sale of the town's utilities.

At the board's August meeting, City Attorney Mark Raines said Tennessee American Water sent city leaders a confidentiality agreement that required approval before that evaluation process could begin.

"This agreement safeguards any data that we give to Tennessee American that they're going to use in their due diligence to see if it's worthwhile for them to make a bid on purchasing the water and sewer works," he said.

The agreement primarily protects Jasper's data, but Raines said it also gives the company a two-year period in which the town can't offer to sell to someone else to the extent that's allowed by state law.