Cumberland Gap wasn’t spared of burst pipes due to subzero temperatures that plagued many households and businesses within the county.
Gap Mayor Bill McGaffee said ongoing water loss issues inside the town were exacerbated by frozen underground water meters.
The town had a 34 percent water loss this month, according to McGaffee during the regular meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen (BMA).
At least one resident apparently was forced to pay exorbitant water and sewer fees due to the ongoing problem with waterline leaks. The resident showed a water use of about 100,000 gallons, which translated into a substantial increase in the sewer charge.
Town attorney James Estep III said the BMA would need to amend its water and sewer ordinances in order to give customers a break in their bills.
McGaffee said the town needs to take a serious look at the “dated infrastructure” and design a plan within the next five years.
In other action, the council adopted Ordinance 1-2014 on second reading which amends the building permit fees.
The ordinance requires no building permit fee for any construction with a total valuation of $1,000 or less unless an inspection is required. If so, the builder will pay $25, plus a $5 recording fee for each inspection.
Construction values from $100,000 to $599,000 will carry a fee of $460 for the first $100,000, plus $3 for each additional thousand.
Any construction over $600,000 will carry a fee of $1,660 for the first $600,000, plus $2 for each additional thousand in value.
In addition, the builder will be required to pay a plan checking fee for any construction valued at $300,000 or more. Projects between $300,000 and $599,000 will carry a plan checking fee of one-half the building permit fee.
The plan checking fee will double the amount of fees charged for projects over $600,000.
The ordinance was adopted by a vote of five to one, with Alderman John Ravnum voting against the measure.
During the monthly Beer Board meeting, it was determined state law mandates a 15 percent tax be levied on any establishment providing its customers who “brown bag“ their alcoholic beverage “set ups” for mixed drinks.
The Tennessee Code Annotated Section 67-4-410 imposes the 15 percent gross receipts tax not only on mixed drinks but also setups that include water, soft drinks, juices, milk and ice.
Jan Runions may be reached at 423-626-3222.