Amendment to sewer ordinance passes first reading

Published 3:24 pm Friday, March 22, 2019

An ordinance amending the current City of Middlesboro sewer regulations passed on the first reading Thursday night.

A special-called meeting was held by the Middlesboro City Council to read the proposed amendment that has been a topic of discussion for over a month.

The increase in rates will go toward phases that are scheduled to make several repairs and updates to the sewer system in Middlesboro.

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Councilman Bo Green expressed that when the upcoming budget is brought before the council that the money be designated for the sewer and not to other parts of the city.

“I do want to challenge and remind the council and the mayor that when we do the budget for the next year, we need to seriously look at taking the money that we are moving from the sewer fund to fund other parts of the city and stop that,” Green said. “So, we can fix all the problems and take this money that we are raising the rates for and spend it where it needs to go.”

“We should be doing that pretty soon, discussing the budget and that would take effect in July,” Mayor Nelson replied. “Each council member, you guys are going to be asked to contribute to that and we need you to do that.”

A handout was made available showing the plan and it will be in seven phases that adds up financially to $9.3 million to complete all seven phases.

“I was against this when I first started hearing about it, but once you sit down and analyze this from a business perspective…the city cannot operate on a 1985 sewer rate, that’s just impossible,” Green explained. “Then when you analyze it from an engineering firm, you look at all the pipes and treatment plant and all the stuff that we really need to tackle as a city as well.”

The city council passed the first reading. The second reading is scheduled to take place Friday at 6 p.m. at City Hall.