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Planned water tank to save jobs

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Marshall County commissioners were advised on Monday of a $750,000 state grant to the county-owned water utility, and that announcement followed a unanimous vote to refinance $6.29 million of county debt to reduce payments with a lower interest rate.

County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett announced that the Marshall County Board of Public Utilities would be receiving the grant from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development for a water line and water storage tank at the Dockers warehouse just north of Chapel Hill.

The MCBPU has been discussing the water tank at the Dockers warehouse for more than a year, acknowledging the business' need for greater water pressure.

A 300,000-gallon water storage tank with 19,600 feet of piping is planned, according to Judy Crowson, MCBPU special projects coordinator.

The men's shoe distribution center has a water tank built in 1957, "but there's not sufficient storage in it to meet state standards for water flow to provide fire protection," Crowson said. "This will provide fire flow to the Dockers building."

The 53-year-old tank serves a sprinkler system to suppress fire, she said. The old tank's water comes from a private well.

The age, condition of the tank, and expense associated with the tank forced Dockers to look for help, she continued.

That raised the question on whether Dockers might relocate the distribution center.

"We're just trying to keep those jobs in the county," Commissioner Rocky Bowden, chairman of the MCBPU, said. The grant "is just part of the funding for a new tank on that end of the county and to provide pressure for the Dockers building."

As for the bond refinancing, County Budget Director Freda Terry has said that it could save the county approximately $173,000 between the time the bond sale is closed and when the loan's term ends on June 1, 2021.

The figures are approximations because the exact interest rate has not been established by a sale, but the savings could result in an average annual reduction in costs of nearly $16,600.

Also Monday, the commission approved a resolution to transfer $45,000 in the sheriff's budget that had been set aside for overtime pay and move that money into a new account for the reserve deputy program, another step toward increased services without spending more money.