E-911 BIG LANDLINE RATE HIKE
Residential Landline Rate - 130% Increase
|Type||Number||Monthly Rate||Revenue Estimate||Proposed New Rate||New Revenue||Increase Funding||Percent Increase|
Commercial Landline Rate - 100% Increase
BY: PAT HUNTER
Did you know that E-911 rates are about to increase, and commission will play a role in this bureaucratic process?
At the August 6, 2012 meeting, Loudon County Commission tabled the LCECD E-911 Resolution after Pat Hunter addressed Commission about the proposed E-911 rate hike. County commissioners seemed unaware of the TECB Rate Increase Application and related supporting documentation.
This subject matter first came up at a July 23, 2012 Loudon County Budget Committee meeting when LCECD E-911 Director Jennifer Estes, and board attorney Wayne Henry requested approval of a Resolution, a commitment from county commission not to decrease $540,000 annual county funding in addition to the new rate increase (see rate hike table below). With no justification for the rate hike, the request was unanimously approved by Budget Chair Estelle Herron, and Commissioners Don Miller, Sharon Yarbrough; absent Bob Franke (underpaid and overworked).
The Loudon County Emergency Communications District Board (LCECD E-911) was quietly going to pass the rate increase without proper notice, and a public hearing seeking public input about the E-911 rate increase. After contacting the Office of Open Records, I requested clarification about the notice in the News Herald. Did the notice meet all legal requirements; the notice did not give the location (street address) of the meeting or reason for the meeting. Subsequently, LCECD E-911 ran a second notice in the News Herald along with a new public hearing date.
Ratepayers Right To Know
During the (LCECD E-911) public hearing, I made a request to inspect the TECB rate application along with all supporting documents (public records). The application was released at the Oct. 1, 2012 commission workshop meeting. Since the TECB Rate Application has numerous pages, the application was scanned into 5 parts depending on internet service, it may take a few minutes to download pdf files.
LCECD E-911 - TECB Rate Application CLICK TO SEE :
TECB Rate App Part 1- Justification Letter
TECB Rate App Part 2 - Budget with Increase
TECB Rate App Part 3 - Budget Without Increase
TECB Rate App Part 4 - Interlocal Agreement
TECB Rate App - Part 5 - Letter to Mayor Herron, Newspaper Notice- Resolution
OCT. 15, 2012 Monday
LOUDON COUNTY COMMISSION MEETING, 6:00 PM ANNEX
CLICK TO SEE RESOLUTION
Loudon County Commission will vote on a Resolution, a request from LCECD E-911 for continued county funding $540,000 to E-911. Once County Commission approves the Resolution that will pave the way for the huge E-911 rate increase.
County Commission should not approve the Resolution until the cities agree to help fund the LCECD - E911. Currently, the only subsidy to LCECD (E-911) comes from county property tax. This is the third year that the cities have refused to help fund the LCECD -911; the cities do not allocate funds in their respective city budgets. NOTE: Additional Law enforcement services ($250,000) are being provided to the cities at no additional cost to the cities however, you the ratepayer pay for these services.
YOUR FEEDBACK -- COMMISSION'S RESOLUTION-
Mayor Budget Chair: Estelle Herron Email: email@example.com
LCEDC Chairman Sheriff Tim Guider: firstname.lastname@example.org
Loudon County Commissioners: D-1 zLoudon Brian Jenkins, D-1 David Meers, D-2 Lenoir City Earlena Maples, D-3 Greenback Bob Franke, D-4 Philadelphia Roy Bledsoe, D-5 Eaton & Browder Sharon Yarbrough, D-5 Harold Duff (new email below), D-6 Highland Park Steve Harrelson and D-7 Tellico Village Don Miller. Emails are listed in this same order. NOTE Harold Duff new email address.
PUBLIC COMMENT PERIOD
2) The Loudon County Emergency Communications District (LCECD E-911) held a public meeting to accept public comment on the rate increase. The LCECD will accept written comments concerning the rate increase proposal. Written comments may be made to: Jennifer Estes Email: email@example.com ATTN: LOUDON COUNTY RATE HIKE - TECB
3) The Tennessee Emergency Communications Board (TECB) will hold a public meeting on Thursday Oct. 25, 2012 at 9:30 a.m. Director Estes, Sheriff Tim Guider and others have requested approval of the rate hike for Loudon County landline telephone patrons.
TECB Website: http://tn.gov/commerce/911/index.shtml
LCEDC PUBLIC HEARING - SEPT. 27TH
It wasn't exactly what one might imagine as a picture card welcome greeting but for E-911 that's as close as it gets. One side of the secured gate was partially open and it was up the long driveway to the Loudon County Emergency Communications District (LCECD E-911) secured facility at 500 John Parris Rd., Loudon.
Only a few LCECD E-911 board members bothered to attend the Sept. 27th 1:00 p.m. public meeting. At the head of the table sat Wayne Henry, attorney, and nearby Jennifer Estes director, James "Bear" Webb Vice-Chairman (Loudon City Police Chief), Richard Martin (Lenoir City Fire Chief), and Tim Guider Chairman (Loudon County Sheriff).
The purpose of the meeting was to accept public comment on proposed rate hike for residential and commercial landline customers. Two landline patrons attended the meeting Pat Hunter and Richard Truitt. Hunter requested that the TECB rate application be released and the comment period be extended. She also spoke about the agreement between the county and cities and how the cities are not paying their fair share considering the cities are receiving additional enhanced law enforcement services which the cities are not paying for. The rate increase is just too high. Richard Truitt agreed with all the comments but he was not mentioned as being in attendance or speaking at the public hearing.
Absent LCECD E-911 Board members included Commissioner Steve Harrelson (Lenoir City Rec. Director), Don White (Lenoir City Police Chief), Daryl Smith (EMA-Homeland Security Director), Bill Hart (Loudon County Fire & Rescue), Loudon City Fire Chief, Ronnie Lett (Greenback Fire & Rescue), Kelli Brannam (EMA employee & E-911 Support Staff). No press, no commissioners, no city council, no city or county mayors.
BUDGET COMMITTEE - JULY 23
At the July 23, 2012 budget committee meeting, the LCECD E-911 Board requested approval of a Resolution, a commitment from commission not to decrease $540,000 annual county funding in addition to the new rate increase (see rate hike table below). The request was unanimously approved by Budget Chair Estelle Herron, and Commissioners Don Miller, Sharon Yarbrough; absent Bob Franke (underpaid and overworked).
Director Estes spoke about the number of customers, and proposed revenues that the increase would generate. The director and attorney also said that the LCECD E-911 is providing additional special law enforcement services to the two cities (Lenoir, Loudon). The estimated cost of these services is $250,000 of which the cities are not paying for. Instead LCECD E-911 rate payers are saddled with the expense while commission sits idly by.
SEE RELATED ARTICLE E-911 RATE HIKE PROPOSED - FILL IN THE BLANKS