Tuesday, October 3, 2023
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Crossville City Council To Consider Appointing Members To New Water Authority

The Crossville City Council will consider appointing three members to the Cumberland Plateau Water Authority next week.

The council held a work session Tuesday night and discussed if the city should participate in the joint utility district. The board was formed by private act with the vision of creating a new water source for Cumberland County.

Mayor RJ Crawford said appointing the members would not commit the city at this time.

“If we don’t decide that we don’t want to have the three members on the board, there is still going to be four,” Crawford said. “That still allows them to have a quorum and a majority. So that board is still going to be formed. I would like for us as a city to have a seat at the table, and then we can make a decision if we are going to be on there or not.”

City Manager Greg Wood expressed concern about the wording of the private act that formed the board. Wood said the city could be responsible for financial compensation and some employees expressed concern.

“Not saying anything positive or negative at this point or time, but there is an issue to compensate the owners for it,” Wood said. “If you have to compensate the owners, that means you have to come up with millions of dollars potentially. I think that would put brakes on it at least for a while.”

Crawford said that conversation will happen once the full authority is established.

“For us to even start having a conversation, the county has to do what it has to do on its side. We do our side,” Crawford said. “Once that seven member board is formed these things that you are talking about through emails and what you are bringing up here today, we will do that.”

As for the concerns from city employees, City Attorney Randall York said all jobs and pay will be protected.

In other business, the city council will open nominations to fill its vacant seat at its meeting next week. Crawford left his council seat vacant when he was elected mayor. Two years remain on the term.