The Benham City Council reacted to the news that Cumberland has pulled out of a proposed sewer interconnect with Benham and Lynch during a meeting on Thursday.
City Clerk Jessica Smith broached the subject during her report to council.
“I got their official letter today,” Smith said. “It says, ‘please allow this letter to serve as written notice that pursuant to article five of the restated articles of incorporation of the Tri-City Utilities Authority Incorporated, the city of Cumberland is withdrawing from the agreement.’”
The Cumberland City Council voted to pull out of the project during a meeting on August 9.
“So they officially pulled out,” said Smith.
A council member asked if the project could still go forward without Cumberland’s participation. Smith answered Benham and Lynch could move ahead without Cumberland. She also stated Cumberland had some good questions regarding the agreement.
“There are a lot of questions I’ve got (concerning the agreement),” Smith said. “There are things in here that talk about basically turning over your materials and equipment that you have to them. I would like it possibly amended to a finer list.”
Smith said some equipment should not be included.
“There are plenty of questions I’ve got, but we’ve not gotten any further than when we started,” Smith said.
A council member mentioned Cumberland council members had said they felt they had not been informed of everything concerning the proposed interconnect.
“I don’t know how they felt they were misinformed,” Smith said. “Everything that was in that ordinance…was just revised from what was mentioned up there (at a meeting involving representatives form Cumberland, Benham and Lynch). If you read the ordinance and you were involved in that meeting, then you knew. The only one that didn’t have a quorum at that meeting was us (Benham).”
After some further discussion, no action was taken by the council at this time.
In other council activity:
• The council approved the first reading of an ordinance leaving penalties for delinquent city property taxes unchanged;
• The council approved a first reading of an ordinance leaving the city ad valorem tax rate unchanged;
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-413 or on Twitter @joe_hde.