HPUD customers question rates, operations

Sandra ClarkHalls, Powell

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs hosted a full house – in excess of 300 people – to discuss water and sewer costs of the Hallsdale Powell Utility District. Among the Jan. 31 crowd at Brickey-McCloud Elementary School were state Sens. Becky Duncan Massey and Richard Briggs, along with state Rep. Bill Dunn and county commissioners Justin Biggs and Charles Busler.

Hallsdale board members Bob Crye, Kevin Julian and Todd Cook were there, along with district president Darren Cardwell and HR director Sandy Lifford.

Jacobs ran a tight meeting, asking folks to sign in as they arrived and to jot down questions on index cards. After a presentation by Cardwell, Jacobs joined him at the front to ask the questions submitted.

This article will be updated or another published after we get a reaction from Jacobs. Here are some of the questions:

  • Are HPUD charges comparable with those of other districts? If not, why?
  • How does HPUD’s salary scale and number of employees compare with other water companies?
  • Why did the district extend service into Union County? Are Knox County customers subsidizing this out-of-county service?
  • Would there be a value in expanding the HPUD board of commissioners from three to five?
  • Why and at what cost fluoride?

Eight years ago a new mayor – Tim Burchett – ran into the buzz saw that is HPUD. As appointments rolled around, he replaced two of the three commissioners including longtime chair Jim Hill. Nothing has changed.

Now it’s Jacobs’ turn. He’s got a handle on the questions. Next up – the answers.

Mayor Glenn Jacobs listens as HPUD president Darren Cardwell responds to a customer’s question.

John T. Greer, a utilities specialist with the Tennessee Comptroller’s office, talks with state Rep. Bill Dunn following Thursday’s meeting. Dunn brought Greer from Nashville to discuss state oversight of Hallsdale Powell if that question was raised. It wasn’t.




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