County approves PILOT, water plant requests

By AUTUMN HUGHES
Posted 10/9/19

The Bradley County Commission gave approval Monday to moving forward on two items of business, one of which includes $2.6 million in improvements to a water treatment plant that provides water to both Bradley and McMinn counties.

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County approves PILOT, water plant requests

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The Bradley County Commission gave approval Monday to moving forward on two items of business, one of which includes $2.6 million in improvements to a water treatment plant that provides water to both Bradley and McMinn counties.

Commissioners approved a resolution authorizing Hiwassee Utilities Commission of Bradley and McMinn counties to request and secure a drinking water state revolving loan in the total amount of $2.6 million to complete needed capital improvements of the HUC water treatment plant.

The plant is jointly owned by Bradley and McMinn counties, and serves as a wholesale water supply to both counties to include the cities of Cleveland, Charleston, Calhoun, Riceville, Athens and McMinn County. Water is piped from the Hiwassee River to the treatment plant, where it is filtered and fluoridated; it is then piped on-demand to customers south and north of the plant in Charleston.

Officials from both counties toured the water treatment plant last week, ahead of the vote to endorse funding for plant improvements.

On the tour, HUC Chairman Doug Harrod explained chlorine gas has been the disinfectant of choice to clean water, but over the past 15 to 20 years there has been a shift to sodium hypochlorite instead. He noted Athens Utilities Board made the transition several years ago and Cleveland Utilities is planning to.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, sodium hypochlorite is a chlorine compound often used as a disinfectant or a bleaching agent.

Monday night, Commissioner Erica Davis thanked HUC officials for the tour of the water treatment plant, and for providing lunch that day.

“It was a very informative meeting,” County Commission Chairman Johnny Mull said.

PILOT:

Commissioners also gave their support to a resolution approving a payment-in-lieu-of taxes (PILOT) schedule and delegating authority to enter into a PILOT agreement for Triumph Sheets, LLC.

Doug Berry, vice president of economic development for the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce, spoke to commissioners last month about the proposed resolution to approve the PILOT. According to the resolution, the Industrial Development Board of Bradley County and the city of Cleveland have recommended the PILOT schedule.

He said the company makes corrugated sheets used to make cardboard boxes.

Votes on both resolutions were unanimous, with eight commissioners — Mull, Davis, Bill Winters, Dennis Epperson, Thomas Crye, Charlotte Peak, Howard Thompson and Bobby Goins casting “yes” votes. Commissioners Mike Hughes, Louie Alford, Milan Blake, Tim Mason and Kevin Raper were absent from the meeting, which was held on the first day of fall break for local schools.

In other news, the County Commission:

• Heard from County Mayor D. Gary Davis that 21 applicants for firefighter positions with Bradley County Fire-Rescue took the required test, with 20 passing. Last week the applicants were offered the agility test and 18 showed up and passed, he added.

“We will now be beginning the interview process,” Davis said, adding there currently four vacancies in the department, but there could be more if any Bradley County firefighters leave to join the Cleveland Fire Department, which is hiring.

Davis said rookie school for firefighters is the next step for new personnel, and it will be January or February before they will be in service.

• Heard from Crye he wants to place the acceptance of roads in the Bellingham subdivision on the next meeting agenda. He added the subdivision developer has experienced some delays, which he would like to see addressed.

“We do need to have some improvements,” Crye said.

The next meeting of the Bradley County Commission is a work session at noon, on Monday, Oct. 14, in the County Commission Courtroom of the Courthouse.

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