Putnam County Gives Water Help To Cookeville, Monterey

Putnam County Commissioners is going to give some $1.22 million in TDEC money to the City Of Cookeville to expand its water plant.

City Water Quality Control Director Ronnie Kelly asked commissioners to consider an additional $1.65 million from the county’s American Rescue Plan funding. Commissioners voted down that request citing a desire to use this one-time money as a way to expand water to those who do not have it. Commissioner Grover Bennett.

Cookeville wants to increase capacity by roughly 50 percent through the project. Cookeville needs about $9.4 million in additional revenue to fund the plant upgrades after bids came in last week over the expected amount. Kelly said the city might have to raise water rates if the city decides to pursue a loan for the additional amounts.

commissioners approved $565,000 in TDEC funding for Monterey. It will be used to purchase portable sludge processing equipment.

Kelly noted the project would provide water to not just Cookeville city residents but to most of the county as Cookeville provides water to all but areas around Monterey mountain.

Commissioner Jimmy Neal made a motion to use TDEC funding only to help the city. Commissioner Jordan Iwanyszyn proposed an amendment to use $2.1 million in ARP funding to fully fund Kelly’s request. Though the amendment received a second, it failed 19-2.

Commissioners voted 21-0 with one abstaining in favor of the $1.22 million contributions.

Kelly originally wanted commissioners to use $1.7 million in TDEC money for the Cookeville project. However, commissioners approved $565,000 in TDEC funding for Monterey. It will be used to purchase portable sludge processing equipment. Engineering Consultant Zeda Hillis said the portability allows the equipment to be used at both the water and sewer facilities. Monterey will provide the 15 percent match.

The state must still approve the TDEC projects proposed by the county.

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