By David Knox
The Metro Lynchburg Moore County Utility Department got some good news in its attempts to correct financial issues.
MUD received word that the Tennessee Water and Wastewater Financing Board had “reviewed the financially distressed status of Metropolitan Lynchburg Moore County … pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. 68-221-1010. Board staff indicated that Metro Moore has compiled with the Board’s previous directives and that Staff is confident that Metro Moore is on a positive trajectory.”
The state board made one recommendation, that Metro Lynchburg Moore County send financial updates twice a year instead of more frequently. The city will send updates on March 1 and Sept. 1 of each year until the board releases it from oversight.
Russell Sells, the general manager of MUD said at Monday night’s board meeting that “they are well pleased with the direction we’re going. I think we’ve built a good relationship with them. We’ve got this hurdle behind us. They are planning a visit to come down, mostly for assistance.”
In other business, the board tabled the budget Sells submitted for further time of study. The budget is expected to be voted on at November’s meeting and then sent to the Metro Council for approval. As submitted, it calls for a $2.8 million budget, a $200,000 increase from last year.
The board also heard from Dwight Clark of Duncan-Williams, one of the firms working with MUD to correct the financial difficulties. He proposed refinancing some of the debt to a bond that would be at 2.65% interest, projecting a $23,000 savings per year and shorten the length of the debt service by three years. The board approved the proposal 5-0 and passed it on to the Metro Council for approval at its next meeting.