The Smithville mayor and aldermen have asked the water plant supervisor to do what he can to find the cause of a water loss, which if not addressed could prove costly to the City of Smithville.
In his monthly update to the mayor and aldermen Monday night, Supervisor Kenny Dyal reported that for at least the last couple of months, the city has had a significant water loss. "In February we pumped 49-million, 401 thousand raw gallons of water from the lake. We treated 44-million, 602-thousand gallons. The gallons sold were 34-million, 649-thousand 400. We had a loss of 9-million, 952-thousand 500 gallons. That's a 23% loss. I have no idea where it's going."
"In March, we pumped 55-million, 060-thousand gallons from the lake as raw water. We treated 48-million, 956-thousand. We sold 34-million, 116-thousand gallons. That's 12-million, 845-thousand gallons lost. That's 26%. It's a big loss.
Dyal added that while all utilities have some water loss, this is out of the ordinary."There's always loss, but the normal loss is between seven and fifteen percent. If we keep it below fifteen percent, the state is happy. But when it starts getting above fifteen percent they start wondering where your water is going."
Dyal says this large water loss is a mystery because there haven't been any large noticeable leaks. "Our leaks haven't been that big, it's just been service leaks. And I've checked the meters at the plant and every thing is registering fine."
The mayor and aldermen, in response, suggested that a concerted effort be made as soon as possible to address this problem.
In other business, the mayor and aldermen voted to have a workshop next Monday night, April 26th at 7:00 p.m. at city hall to interview the three applicants for the position of Smithville Police Chief, Randy Caplinger of Smithville, Larry D. Parsley of Lenior City, and Kenneth Smith of Watertown.
Caplinger is a retired Lieutenant Colonel/Major of the Tennessee Department of Safety/Tennessee Highway Patrol. Parsley is a retired Lieutenant of the Tennessee Department of Safety/Tennessee Highway Patrol. Smith is currently serving as Chief of Police of the Lakewood Police Department at Old Hickory, Tennessee.
Meanwhile, the aldermen voted five to nothing to include $1,500 in next year's budget to donate to the Smithville-DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce to help fund the printing of a new DeKalb County tourism brochure.
Suzanne Williams, Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, made the request during Monday night's meeting. "One of the main ways the chamber promotes our area to potential newcomers and tourists alike is through our brochure. Hundreds of these brochures are distributed annually through the chamber office, local and state welcome centers, key entry locations like the Lebanon Outlet Mall and many other venues through the Upper Cumberland Tourism Association. Our current brochures will be depleted by around June of this year. We're in the final stages of developing a brand new brochure. Our new brochures are designed to stimulate tourism activities as we showcase Smithville and our county with it's charm, Center Hill Lake, the arts, and major events including the Smithville Fiddler's Jamboree and Crafts Festival. We'll be printing a minimum of five thousand copies. That'll provide brochures for a minimum of the next five years. We need to raise $3,000. The county has agreed to contribute $1,500 for marketing materials if the city of Smithville will agree to contribute the other $1,500."
Williams was joined in making the request by Chamber President Tim Hintz and Leadership DeKalb Director Jen Sherwood.
Kevin Robinson, Public Works Director, reported to the mayor and aldermen that the city has recently paved all or parts of several streets including Williams Lane, all of Carter Street, two portions of West Main Street, Magnolia Lane (by the golf course), part of Riley Avenue, and Shaw Street.
Mayor Taft Hendrixson said the city could do still more paving later this summer at the current bid price before the new bid prices take effect. "When we did our bid last year, we specified in our bid as we did two years before, that the bid would hold good for a year. This current bid price will remain good until September. I think we got it at around $58 dollars per ton in place. Right now the bids are going for $75. So what we did two years ago and what we can do this year is whatever we have in the budget, starting in July, we can opt to do it (street paving) on this $58 per ton bid price before (the bid price goes up) September 1st and save a third. That will be good business to do it that way."
Earlier this month, the aldermen voted to take advantage of a Neighborhood Stabilization Program through the Tennessee Housing Development Agency which provides funds to cities and counties wanting to demolish blighted properties.
Mayor Taft Hendrixson says the city owned building, located across the street from city hall on the north side, qualifies for the program. Once the building is removed, the property may be used for any city purpose, but under terms of the program, the property cannot be sold or leased for private purposes for a period of time, otherwise the city would have to refund all or a portion of the funds used to demolish the building.
During Monday night's meeting, Mayor Hendrixson said bid notices for the demolition of the building will be advertised next week. "I talked to Ken Mabery today with the Upper Cumberland Development District. A week from Tuesday and Wednesday, a bid notice for the demolishment of that building will be in the papers for contractors, so it's moving rather quickly, more quickly than I thought it would. So I'd say within the next five or six weeks it should be all done and cleared away."