Mayor’s Comments and Issues
February 24, 2014
February greeted us rudely with an ice storm such as we’ve not experienced since 1994! When the electricity was restored and the ice melted, we had tree limbs everywhere. In times of emergency, it is gratifying to observe our staff rise to the occasion and meet the challenge. Thanks to Munford Public Works, Munford/Atoka Fire Department, Munford Police Department, Munford Parks and Recreation and our office support staff, we were able to meet the needs of our community. I would like to personally thank the linesmen of Southwest Tennessee Electric Membership Corporation for their tenacity and diligence in restoring power to our citizens as quickly as possible.
As with every ice storm, there is an enormous amount of debris to clean up. We are still picking up limbs and will continue to do so for several weeks. Citizens with ice storm related debris should cut it into five foot lengths and place it at the edge of the street. Public Works will remove them as soon as possible. We have installed a hotline for citizens to call to inform us when they have limbs at the street. That number is 837-5955. Thanks to Atoka Public Works, City of Millington Public Works, Tipton County Government, and a host of others for lending us a helping hand. Their assistance continues to be invaluable as neighbors help neighbors.
As mentioned recently, I received a letter from the State of Tennessee informing me that our water rates are inadequate meet state required standards. We have had a “negative change in net assets” for the past two years and our Water Department has been designated as a financially distressed. As a result of this, we are required to provide a plan to the State demonstrating rate changes which will bring us into compliance with State Law. We have contracted with the University of Tennessee’s Municipal Technical Advisory Service to provide guidance in this matter. After several drafts, our final draft is nearly complete and will be presented at our March Board meeting. The bottom line is this: While we currently have the 9th lowest water rates in the state and our sewer rates are in the lower 25 percent among sewer providers, our rates must increase.
Andy Reynolds from A2H will present the latest design for Hope Park, located on Drummonds Road, on March 6 at 6 p.m. Hope Park is a passive activity park which will feature a multi-purpose trail, outdoor gym equipment, and a memorial garden for Veterans. Interested citizens are encouraged to attend.
On a sad note, Mr. Wayne Watkins passed away last week. Mr. Wayne has been Project Coordinator on a number of construction projects throughout the years including at least four additions or remodels at City Hall. He was a true professional and a very good friend. He was brother-in-law to Dotty Rice and Mary Pinner, both long-time employees of the City of Munford. We will miss Mr. Wayne.