City to Raise Water & Sewer Rates 2% with Passage of New Budget (View Video of Meeting Here)

June 8, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

Smithville water and sewer customers may begin noticing small increases in their monthly bills soon.

During Monday night’s regular monthly meeting, the Aldermen adopted a budget ordinance for the 2021-22 fiscal year on first reading which includes a 2% increase in water and sewer rates and tap fees.

The new rates will take effect with passage of the budget on second and final reading at the next regular meeting in July.

City water customers currently pay $7.25 per thousand gallons of usage. That will go to $7.40 per thousand. Rates for customers outside the city limits will increase from $10.88 to $11.10 per thousand. City sewer customers pay $6.75 per thousand gallons. That will jump to $6.89 per thousand. The new rates are expected to generate up to $50,000 a year in new revenue.

City officials believe its wiser to implement smaller rate increases now rather than larger hikes later to keep incoming revenues ahead of expenses and that is also the recommendation of the state comptroller. A year ago, the city’s water and sewer fund was projected to end the current fiscal year June 30, 2021 in the red by $37,713 but by keeping a close eye on spending the city is now expected show a surplus of $142,631 by the close of this month. This time next year with the rate increases included, the water and sewer fund is forecast to be in the black by $56,535.

Under state law, if a utility continues to operate at a loss for more than two years and doesn’t address it, the state has the authority to force rate increases to make it solvent.

The city property tax rate will drop from 0.899 cents to the new certified tax rate levied by the state of 0.7523 cents per $100 of assessed value to offset new reappraisal property assessments. Although the new certified tax rate is supposed to generate about the same amount of local property tax revenue as this past year, the city is projecting $1,274,471 in property tax collections in 2021-22, down by $20,000 from $1,295,000 this past year (2020-21).

Still, the General Fund is projected to end the current fiscal year in the black by $388,766 on June 30, 2021 and $299,714 to the good by June 30, 2022.

The General Fund Debt Service for the new police department building is projected to be $177,550 for the year including $100,000 in principal payments and $77,550 in interest on long-term debt.

The new budget also includes funding for:

* A 3% cost of living pay raise for hourly city employees with more than four years of service. Hourly workers with four years of service or less will receive a step raise on their employment anniversary date with a 3% cost of living increase July 1. Salaried employees will get a $5,000 pay raise.

*Another paid E911 dispatcher position at $40,405 (salary and benefits). This would increase the number of city funded dispatchers to four to a total annual cost of $160,000, up from $119,595



*2 new police cars and related equipment: $95,000 ($45,000 of which is grant funded with local match)

*Furniture and office equipment for new Police Department building: $125,000


*Salt truck: $20,000

*Bridge capital repairs: $25,000

*Street paving $335,000 which includes $250,000 grant

*Unspecified: $15,000


*10 portable radios: $9,200

*New Air Bags and Controller: $15,000

*Battery Powered Combination Rescue Tool: $10,000

*Swift water equipment: $5,000

*Site work for training site: $6,000

*Unspecified: $30,000


*Obstruction Clearing Grant: $899,012

*Unspecified: $10,000


*Lift and Forks: $20,000

*Unspecified: $5,000


*TN Local Government Support COVID 19 Grant- $136,000


*Walking Trail Improvements: $20,000

*Unspecified: $10,000


*Strainer: $10,000

*Unspecified: $5,000


*Unspecified: $10,000


*Unspecified: $30,000


*Unspecified: $5,000


*Unspecified: $5,000


*Meter reading software: $10,000

*Backhoe: $103,000

*Tube settlers: $30,000

*Replacement of sewer lines: $600,000 (Half of Federal COVID Grant Funds)


Road Construction Gearing Up on Highway 70 Between Alexandria and Liberty

June 7, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

Heavy equipment is being moved in for road construction on US 70 (State Route 26) from Alexandria to Liberty.

The Tennessee Department of Transportation is urging motorists to use caution while driving along Highway 70 (SR-26) and to be alert for changes in traffic patterns. Temporary lane closures and/or traffic stoppages may be needed as construction signs are installed and erosion control and grading activities are in progress. Motorists should be alert for construction personnel/equipment entering and exiting the roadway.

TDOT has awarded a bid to Twin K. Contractors, Inc. for the reconstruction project at $30,875,122 which includes the grading, drainage, construction of retaining walls and paving on US 70 (State Route 26) from near State Route 53 at Alexandria to near State Route 96 at Liberty. The project is 4.1 miles long and the completion date is on or before June 30, 2024.

According to TDOT, the majority of the project will consist of the following:

5 – 12’ lanes (2 lanes each direction, continuous center turning lane) 12’ outside shoulders (10’ paved + 2’ stone) each side

1000’ of project (@ SR-53 intersection)
5 – 12’ lanes, 4’ paved shoulders, curb and gutter, sidewalk

2 retaining walls –
370’ long (avg 10’ tall)
100’ long (avg 7’ tall)

246,000 cubic yards of excavation
150,000 tons of base stone
88,000 tons of asphalt
8,300 ft of pipe
7 box culverts

Woman Cited by Smithville Police for Stripping in Public Park

June 6, 2021
By: Dwayne Page

A woman was cited for public indecency last month for taking off her clothes in a public park.

29 year old Stephanie Michelle Mooneyham of Crestlawn Avenue allegedly committed the offense on May 18.

According to Smithville Police, Mooneyham allegedly removed her clothing above her waist in a public park exposing her breast and then began to remove clothing below her waist. Several people in the area witnessed the offense.

21 year old Benjamin Thomas Duffey of Meadow Brook Drive was arrested on May 2 for aggravated assault (domestic). According to police Duffey assaulted his victim by hitting and trying to choke her. Police learned that the two were going home after attending a party and began to argue. Once they arrived home, the argument turned physical. The victim had red marks around her neck and scratches on her person. Bond for Duffey is $20,000.

39 year old David Allen Cobb of Luttrell Avenue was arrested on May 4 for assault and he was cited for criminal trespass. Police said Cobb pushed his victim in order to gain entrance into the home where he had committed a trespassing offense the day before. His bond is $3,500.

20 year old Cedric Anthony Cruz of Dowelltown was cited on May 8 for speeding and simple possession of a schedule VI drug. During a routine traffic stop for speeding, Police found Cruz to be in possession of approximately 3.5 ounces of marijuana.

54 year old Joe Anthony Young of Lee Homer Road was arrested on May 11 for aggravated assault. Police were dispatched to 218 Jennings Lane where someone was reported to be threatening people with a screwdriver. Police learned that Young allegedly cut his victim with a knife in several places including the face and hand. Bond for Young is $10,000. His court date is June 10.

31 year old Porsche Lynn Cantrell was arrested on May 14 for a third offense of driving under the influence and a citation was issued for violation of the open container law and financial responsibility. Officers were summoned to the Pizza Hut parking lot due to a motor vehicle crash. Upon arrival police confronted Cantrell who smelled of alcohol and her speech was slurred.

Officers learned that Cantrell had jumped the curb of Pizza Hut in her automobile striking another vehicle. Cantrell submitted to field sobriety tasks but performed poorly. An empty bottle of Jim Beam whiskey was recovered from the middle console of her vehicle and she couldn’t provide proof of insurance. Bond for Cantrell is $6,000 and her court date is June 24.

21 year old Sean Douglas Austin of Wade Street was arrested on May 14 for aggravated assault (domestic). Police were dispatched to 323 Wade Street where Austin was allegedly spotted messing with a car. Upon arrival police found Austin inside the home and he was detained due to active warrants against him. Police learned that Austin had threatened his victim for not giving him her car keys . He then grabbed her neck and tried to choke her. Bond for Austin is $10,000 and his court date is June 10.

48 year old Patsy Lynn Estes of Yulanda Hills Road was cited on May 18 for theft. Estes allegedly entered Moses Discount Tobacco store on March 26 and took approximately $25.00 worth of candy without paying for it. The theft was caught on surveillance camera.

32 year old Maranda Rose Smith of Andrew Street was arrested on May 19 for aggravated assault. Smith allegedly struck another woman in the face possibly breaking her nose with a baseball bat. The blow caused swelling and a gash on the bridge of the victim’s nose. Bond for Smith is $10,000.

33 year old Justin Matthew Cripps 33 of Grande Avenue was arrested on May 21 for simple possession, reckless endangerment, and joyriding. According to police a BOLO (be on the lookout) was issued for a semi-truck that had possibly been stolen by Cripps which was spotted heading toward Wal-Mart traveling on the wrong side of the highway. Police learned that Cripps had been told by his supervisor with McCormick Trucking that he could not drive the semi but he jumped in the truck and took off anyway heading toward Wal-Mart. Police pulled over the truck and confronted Cripps in a grassy field in front of Wal-Mart. After taking possession of the vehicle, Police were given permission to search the semi-truck after spotting 8.4 grams of a green leafy substance believed to be marijuana on the floor in front of the driver’s seat where Cripps had been seated. Cripps was taken into custody. His bond was set at $30,000 and his court date is June 10.

23 year old Marissa Paige Anderson of Page Drive was cited on May 21 for theft. Anderson was spotted in Wal-Mart trying to conceal merchandise. The items were retrieved and returned to the store. Her court date is June 10.

25 year old Daniel Aguirre of Campbell Road was arrested on May 21 for vandalism. According to police Aguirre approached the east entrance of the courthouse and threw a piece of asphalt at the door. The asphalt broke the glass and landed inside the lobby. Police later found Aguirre across the street and placed him in custody. His bond is $1,500 .

40 year old Rickey Lynn Martin of Judkins Lane was arrested on May 23 for public intoxication. Police responded to a call of an individual possibly intoxicated in the 500 block of East Broad Street. The officer found and confronted the man, Martin whose speech was slurred. He was also unsteady on his feet. Police learned that that Martin may have taken LSD the night before and flushed a crack pipe down the toilet at Mapco Express right before the officer contacted him. For his and the public’s safety, Martin was taken into custody. His bond is $1,500 and he will make a court appearance on June 10.

38 year old Lacy Lee West of Dowelltown was arrested on May 26 for a second offense of driving under the influence. According to police, West was observed passed out in her vehicle which was stopped in the middle of the roadway on Steeple Chase Drive with the engine running and with the transmission in drive. After waking her, police had West checked by EMS and she was cleared of any medical needs but she smelled of alcohol and was unsteady on her feet. West submitted to several field sobriety tasks but performed poorly. Bond for West is $3,000 and her court date is June 10.

49 year old Richard B Turner of Fisher Avenue was arrested on May 27 for domestic assault and resisting stop or arrest. According to police Turner assaulted his victim by grabbing her by both arms and shoving her against a door inside their residence leaving marks on her arms and early indication of bruising. Turner, who was heavily intoxicated and refused to cooperate with officers, tried to pull away from them several times while in custody. Once inside the patrol car, Turner started kicking the door panel. His bond is $8,500 and he will be in court June 10.

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