Thursday, August 25, 2005
planning awaits TVA rate approval
By SUE WATSON
Planning for the City of Holly Springs fiscal year 2005-06 budget has been delayed while the mayor and board of aldermen wait for Tennessee Valley Authority to announce its approval of an electricity rate increase for Holly Springs Utility Department (HSUD).
So far city officials have considered department capital requests and projected operating expenses.
TVA was expected to meet with city officials Tuesday August 23.
HSUDs accounting manager D. Miller explained that TVA is doing an internal financial study to see if the electric departments request for a rate increase of its own is justified.
They are going over our stuff with a fine-toothed comb, Miller said. They want to make sure you know exactly why we need a rate increase.
Basically, they are looking at your figures, said mayor Andre DeBerry.
Miller said TVA sets a threshold on rate increases the electric utilities ask for themselves. If the request is over the threshold amount, TVA comes in and does a financial study at the utility.
They need to see if your figures are needed, DeBerry concluded.
Tom Boone, HSUD director, asked for permission to hire two new entry level employees now and a third one later.
George Humphreys said two employees had quit and he needed two replacements immediately to keep up with right-of-way trimming. With that the board voted unanimously to approve the hiring.
Don Hollingsworth reported for Public Works.
The Marshall County Board of Supervisors has advised that the Airport Authority has been turned back over to the original owners, after the Industrial Development Authority said it did not want to manage it any more, he said. The county said Holly Springs seat on the Airport Authority, formerly represented by alderman Russell Johnson, would be offered providing the city is willing to pay half the expenses. The county will pay all the expenses if the city does not want a seat.
Mayor DeBerry said he would like to see the dollar figure for the citys share.
Hollingsworth passed along a resolution prepared by the attorney for the Marshall County Solid Waste Authority. He said Holly Springs and Byhalia would have to pass resolutions if they want to be included in the solid waste authority.
They are trying to submit a plan and get money from Byhalia and the city to pay for the landfill, Russell Johnson explained.
At the August 23 board meeting, the city board heard a presentation from Julian Allen, director of the Mississippi Automated System Project, about a new jail and records management system pilot project.
Afterward, the Town and Country Garden Club asked the city to sign off on an application for state grant monies to restore the old Presbyterian Church building beside City Hall. The city gave the club a long-term lease to make improvements of the historic building earlier this year.
Speaking for the club, Martha Thomas said a 20:80 match grant with the state Historic Preservation Commission would provide part of the money needed to pay for restoration work.
We are applying for $50,000 and the club has $30,000, she said.
The structure was just recently awarded a Mississippi Landmark designation which makes it eligible for grants, she said.
Thomas said the club would put up the 20 percent matching money and get to work on restoring the rear of the shotgun-style structure which has sustained severe termite damage. After that the club will work on the front of the structure and ADA accessibility ramps. The city would act as a conduit for the grant money from the state to the garden club which sees to making the repairs.
The board voted unanimously to allow the city to sign off on the grant.
In other business the board:
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