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DUD hearing to be held locally
DUD w sm
At a hearing held last week in Nashville, the Tennessee Utility Management Review Board ruled that it lacked authority to act on a petition filed by DeKalb Utility District ratepayers in an attempt to derail the utility’s plans to build a new water treatment plant.While the UMRB cited lack of jurisdiction in the matter of the treatment plant at the hearing on Thursday, the board will act on the petitioners’ request for a DUD rate review.The petition in question, a document signed by more than 1,100 of the 5,000 DUD customers, was submitted to the Tennessee Comptroller and Utility Management Review Board in July in an attempt to get a state review of DUD rates and its plan of services, including the proposed treatment plant.Representatives from both the DUD and the UMRB agreed that the minimum of 10 percent of DUD customers had signed the petition.Attorney Jason Holleman, speaking on behalf of the petitioners, argued that the UMRB had jurisdiction to hear the petition as it related to both rates charged and services provided. Attorney Keith Blair, representing the DUD, argued the UMRB had no jurisdiction to hear the petition, and opposed any further hearing on the matter. When UMRB commissioners inquired about the basis for the recent rate increases relative to the construction financing of the proposed treatment plant, DUD Chairman Roger Turney told the board that the DUD had been working toward building the plant for more 10 years, and that water rates would actually be reduced.