Signal Should Not Sell Its Water System

Sunday, July 8, 2018

At its meeting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday, July 9, 2018, the Signal Mountain Town Council will take the first official steps toward selling the Town’s water system.  Selling the Town’s water system will inevitably lead to Town residents having to pay more for their water than they would if the Town kept its water system.

For proof of that fact, one need look no further than what happened after the Town sold its sewer system several years ago.  Quality of service has gone down and the cost has gone up year after year since the sale occurred.  Before the sewer system was sold, the sewer portion of our water bills was much smaller than the water portion of our water bills.  Today, the opposite is true.  Like the sale of the Town’s sewer system, selling our water system would be a very costly, foolhardy mistake that the Town’s residents will have to pay for forever.  There was no compelling reason to sell the sewer system, nor is there any compelling reason to sell the water system.

In addition, a Town Council member recently informed me that the Town has not had the value of its water system appraised, which would involve an appraisal of the land and the fixtures, including water works and buildings located on that land, as well as a valuation of the Town’s book of water business with the Town’s residents and businesses located in the Town.  It is the height of fiscal irresponsibility for a majority of the members of the Town Council to embark on a process of selling our water system, which is a multi-million dollar asset, without first engaging qualified professionals to provide a professional valuation of what that asset is worth.

The “request for proposal” process that the Town used did not provide such a valuation.  It was not anything close to an auction process or a sealed bid process, which is why the two proposals the Town received are so close together ($4,250,000 and $4,300,000).

The fact that these proposals included only short term water rate locks (2 years under one proposal and 5 years under the other, plus capital riders that  would also increase costs for Town residents) is further proof of the fact that selling our water system will cost Town residents more than they would have to pay if the Town kept its water system.

Town residents, please inform the Town Council by e-mail (their e-mail addresses are on the Town’s website) and in person at upcoming Town Council and Planning Commission meetings that you are opposed to selling our water system.

Thank you.

Brendan Olin
Former member, Signal Mountain Town Council and Planning Commission



Re-elect Joe Graham

Early voting time is here again and our choices couldn’t be more important.  It’s an easy choice though for the voters in Hamilton County District 6.  Joe Graham is the obvious choice.  I’ve known Joe for over 40 years.  I grew up with him.  He was a few years behind me at Lookout Valley High School but even then, I could tell there was something special ... (click for more)

Party Problems In The 30th District House Race

Watching the 30th district house race is very interesting.  It is normal that the front runner in an election can expect some attacks.  However, the vicious attacks that Ms. Helton is facing is unprecedented in my opinion.  Both of these candidates are in the same party.  I was under the impression that party leaders were the ones that challenged a candidate’s ... (click for more)

Man Shot And Killed On Arlington Avenue On Wednesday

A man was shot and killed on Wednesday afternoon on Arlington Avenue at the Bayberry Apartments. Chattanooga Police responded around 5 p.m. and found the victim. Officials said it appeared to be the result of a disorder between the suspect and the victim. The investigation is ongoing.   (click for more)

Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Fire On Workman Road Tuesday Morning

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched at 6:03 a.m. on Tuesday, to a commercial fire at 400 Workman Road. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, flames were shooting through the roof and the request was immediately made for a second alarm response. The flames could be seen for miles as a total of 13 fire companies rushed to the scene. The large, two-story ... (click for more)

English, Ex-East Hamilton Coach, Hired To Lead Whites Creek Boys' Hoops Team

Rodney English, former boys’ basketball coach at East Hamilton, recently was named to a similar job at Whites Creek High School in Nashville. The move was made public Monday when English’s name appeared on the official Whites Creek school directory that is annually submitted to the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. The hiring of English at Whites Creek was also ... (click for more)

Vols' Nigel Warrior Named To Bednarik Award Watch List

Tennessee junior defensive back  Nigel Warrior  has been named to the 2018 Bednarik Award Watch List. Warrior is the first Vol to be named to the Bednarik Watch list since the defensive trio of Derek Barnett, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Cameron Sutton were named to the Bednarik's preliminary list in 2016.   Warrior totaled 83 tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss ... (click for more)