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Ruling allows city to take part in hearing
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According to a ruling from administrative law judge Steve R. Darnell, representatives of the City of Smithville will be able to participate in a rate-review hearing scheduled for the morning of April 4 at the county complex on Congress Blvd.In an unusual move, since these hearings are usually held in Davidson County, the state Utility Management Review Board (UMRB) has announced plans to hold the hearing in Smithville.The decision means city representatives of the city will be allowed to voice concerns over the proposed DeKalb Utility District water treatment plant along with DUD ratepayers.Customers of the DUD and city officials will be able to to address the UMRB on how the proposed plans for a DUD water treatment plant could impact city water ratepayers and DUD ratepayers.Attorneys for the DUD have come out in opposition of allowing city officials to participate in the hearing.The hearing was petitioned by a group of DUD customers to review the rates charged and services provided by public utility districts.In his ruling, Darnell found that the city, as well as DUD customers, would be affected by the project, and should therefore have a part in the proceedings.“Smithville's motion (to be allowed to participate) demonstrates the disposition of this case may, as a practical matter, affect Smithville's interests. The factual issues asserted by Smithville are intertwined with the petitioners (DUD customers) assertions. Finally, Smithville's participation will not render the hearing unmanageable or interfere with the interests of justice and the orderly and prompt conduct of the proceeding.