City Council Backtracks Mayor/ Alderman Raises, Moves Forward with 25% Water Rate Increase

By Jacob E. Rosenbaum

The Jamestown City Council met in a special called session on Monday, July 6, 2020 for the purpose of approving its budget for the upcoming fiscal year on second reading. Due to a growing backlash of local sentiment, the council also agreed to backtrack on its previous decision to raise the rate of reimbursement for the City Mayor and Aldermen.

The meeting was held virtually, and due to a communication error, was not able to be aired on radio.

The meeting was called to order, and the roll call showed that all five aldermen were participating.

The first order of business was the approval of the 2020-2021 Budget on second reading, or Ordinance 1910. Before a vote was held, City Engineer Tom Bennett spoke about the water plant, and the proposed water rate increase contained within the budget, and explained the need for the increase. Bennett said that the plant was currently operating at a little past 80% capacity for water production, and that the upgrades required to increase the capacity required additional funding. Increased water capacity is essential to industrial infrastructure, and without these upgrades, major industry would be unable to locate in Fentress County in the future. A motion to approve was made by Charles Cooper, seconded by Jeni Ledbetter and passed with all voting in  favor.

Read the full story in this weeks Fentress Courier.