By | January 22, 2020

Mr. Mayor,

After viewing the January 2020 Town of Rutherfordton Council meeting, I noted the excessive length of time and number or critical issues submitted and approved. It appears, the tactic to bundle controversial issues in long meetings is making it more difficult for Council Members to concentrate when given anecdotal explanations, instead of calculations, is submitted for Agenda items requesting approval. And based on the lack of questions being asked, I wondered if Citizens were being served? Either Council was fully informed or were all the factors presented? With a newly elected Council Member on board, it became especially troubling because he voted in the affirmative on all issues proposed!

A case in point, was the RS Middle School sewer update in the Agenda. FYI, in Capital Analysis, when an investment is revised, the engineer compares the original approved project to the update, including a revised drawing, cost sheet and explanations, i.e., Odom Engineering! In fact, the engineer was not even present and documents submitted were not on Odom’s Letterhead. More disturbing was the layout had been changed with no cost sheet explaining the $990,994 expenditure? Especially when $151,125, or that a 6″ 6,045 ft Force main, had been deleted from the original Cost Sheet, (Line item #4) without explanation! And, still no connection piping to RS Central to the Lift Station!

Just as significant, why a legal opinion by the Town Attorney was not included to explain the Town’s changed policy of providing the sewer service to Coggins? Originally, they opted to use their own septic system, as a condition to be included in Town Limits. Again, no questions from our elected officials!

It was revealed that the driving motivation for this “expansion” was to grow the Town. For five houses and almost $1 Million? Go back and revise the layout for RS only, then come back to convince Citizens!. The Town Council ignored the impact of Park Crossing population and natural growth instead of undertaking the “Field of Dreams” gamble being proposed.

One final note concerning the financial assumptions: Since the Sewer System is a business enterprise, depreciation has to be included. $33,033/yr min on a 30 year life! Getting a free grant has to be accounted for, look it up. And you can take $100K for an unplanned bonus but you want to pay $5K / yr to borrow $100K for 20 years? Common Sense?

Joe Simmons