TOP PHOTO: The LaFollette Utility Board met Monday evening, with discussion of its recent “clean audit” report topping the agenda. Also discussed and approved was the purchase of a line truck. Standing is LUB General Manager Kenny Baird.

By Charlotte Underwood 

LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – The LaFollette Utility Board (LUB) held its monthly workshop and meeting on Monday evening, with discussion of its recent “clean audit” report topping the agenda. Also discussed and approved was the purchase of a line bucket truck.

The audit is an annual process and is done by Pugh CPAs.

Barron Kennedy went over the audit findings with board members.

“This is a clean opinion; the audit went very well,” Kennedy said. 

Other audit highlights showed that materials and supplies had been up for the utility by about a half million dollars due to an increase in costs.

The capital assets net went up $2.3 million dollars from the previous year. 

The change in net income was $1.2 million down from last year. 

The utility had a 4-percent increase in revenue, but the cost of sales to purchase power also went up, according to Kennedy.

The utility had no new debt issued in 2023.

The report on “internal control and compliance for the electric side was also a clean finding.”

The water department also received a clean audit.

On the water side, the audit showed operating expenses were up. 

Capital assets on the water department side were up by $157,000 over last year.

The water department revenues increased 12-percent from the previous year as well.

Barron Kennedy, standing, with Pugh CPA’s, went over the audit with board members.

“Waste Water revenues went up by $128,000, however operating expenses went up $121,000, so its still flat at the end of the day,” Kennedy said.

The water department internal compliance also received a clean report.

During the workshop portion, LUB General Manager Kenny Baird reported to the board that the utility’s health insurance renewal had been re-negotiated to a zero percent change to the coverage, plan and premium.

He also told the board there was some equipment the utility district needs to buy.

“We need a line truck with a digger attachment. If we spec the truck out and bid it, it will take about two years to get it. We had budgeted $425,000 for a truck, and we were told today that truck will be about a half a million dollars in two years,” Baird said.

He said they had found a brand new 2023 truck for $290,000 that will meet their needs.

“If you give me permission, we will start negotiations and move forward with it.  We have the money through the revenue participation note,” Baird said. 

During the meeting, board members approved the truck purchase and Baird said he would begin working on it.

The next LUB meeting will be Monday, November 27, at 7 pm. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 10/31/2023-6AM)