TOP PHOTO: The LaFollette Utility Board met Monday passing several resolutions and discussing tree trimming bids. Left to right are Kathy Parrott, Joe Snodderly, Jay Willoughby, Boyd Henegar, John Snodderly and Janice Walker.

By Charlotte Underwood 

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – The  LaFollette Utility Board held its monthly workshop and meeting on Monday evening, approving several resolutions and once again discussing tree trimming bids. 

First approved was the annual payment in lieu of tax resolution. This is a payment of $1,695,000 to various taxing jurisdictions, including Campbell County, Claiborne County, Union County and the City of LaFollette. These funds are paid in lieu of taxes on the property and operations of electric systems owned and operated by incorporated cities.

Campbell County’s portion is $328,830, while the City of LaFollette’s is $1,313,625. Claiborne County’s portion is $47,460 and Union County’s is $5,085. There is no property tax for Jacksboro and Caryville. 

The next resolution approved was to authorize the utility board to participate in a “Safety Partners” Loss control matching grant program. 

“This is a program with our insurance carrier Public Entity Partners. We are eligible to receive up to $2,000 to offset the cost of safety equipment. This is a routine thing we do; anytime we can get money back from an insurance carrier, we do it,” said LUB General Manager Kenny Baird. 

The other Resolution approved reserves a portion of the public meeting for public comment for those who want to address the board regarding items on the agenda. 

“This makes us compliant with the law,” Baird said. 

According to LUB Attorney Kathy Parrott, any member of the public wishing to speak has to sign in before the meeting. Each person gets three minutes to speak on a topic, with no more than 15 minutes total per group. 

Also approved was a resolution regarding who can draw funds on the revenue anticipation note agreement with Hearthside Bank. The resolution states that General Manager Kenny Baird and Board Chairman Boyd Henegar are the two signers on notes. This is for capital expenditures only.

Hourly tree trimming bids were once again discussed and voted on by the board.

Townsend had originally been hired to do hourly tree trimming as the lowest bidder, however, due to subpar work, LUB has “cut ties” and voted to go with the second highest bidder, with a lower “re-negotiated rate.”

“Brewster’s Service Group has agreed they would guarantee the $211.67 per hourly rate bid price for a year if we can do a contract,” Baird said.

According to Baird, this is the rate that Brewster’s is currently charging. 

“We would love to lock this price in for the next year; they do good work,” Baird said.

“Since this came before the board in May, the board is within a reasonable amount of time and can go with the second lowest bidder, especially with them negotiating a lower price” LUB Attorney Kathy Parrott said.

The board approved to accept the contract with Brewster’s.

The next LUB board meeting is Monday, August 28th at 7pm.  (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 08/01/2023-6AM)