Wednesday, May 25, 2022
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Warren Utility Manager Brings Rural Perspective To TDEC Committee

Warren County Utility District General Manager Anthony Pelham has been working on a TDEC committee as a rural representative for ARP funding.

The Water Infrastructure Advisory Committee was formed to guide the prioritization of projects. Pelham said aged infrastructure and water loss are issues he brings to the table.

“Pretty much gives the perspective of a rural utility district,” Pelham said. “Some of the unique aspects or facets of our operation in context to more urban or metropolitan areas whether that’s demographics, methods of construction, use and need and primary factors most utility districts face

Pelham said interconnection and mutual aid are other issues rural communities face. Pelham said in many cases, utility districts do not have connections with neighbors in the event of an emergency.

“In case of droughts, emergency mechanical failure, acts of God things like recent storms, it is always an advantage to be interconnected with neighbors, so that we can provide assistance or receive assistance if necessary,” Pelham said.

The committee has met three times so far. Pelham said the final break down proposal divides some $1.35 billion between cities and counties based on population and needs.

“So far so good,” Pelham said. “I think the Governor and TDEC definitely have a plan and that’s been modified in some degree, but I think they definitely have a global view or macro-view of what they’re trying to do, and they’ve been trying to fine that down as they’ve received input.”

TDEC Commissioner David Salyers chairs the committee. Pelham said a mixture of other state officials from economic community development, the Governor’s Office and State Comptroller’s Office also participate in the committee.

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