|'The worst I've seen in over 35 years'
|Posted: Thursday, May 7, 2009 12:53 pm
|By coming together and acting quickly, the City of Dresden saw disaster averted when a storm caused a widespread loss of phone and Internet service this past weekend.
Greg Stephens, Frontier Communications Southeast Re-gion area manager, credits local individuals with helping to solve a problem that was, in his words, “the worst I’ve seen in over 35 years.”
This past Friday, May 1, lightning hit a tree approximately 10 feet away from the Frontier office in Dresden and “cooked the phone system.”
The strike caused the loss of commercial power to the system and the loss of phone and Internet service to a large part of the area.
Stephens and other workers surveyed the damage and found it to be much worse than previously thought, so they put all their resources into solving the problem.
At the May monthly meeting of the City of Dresden Board of Mayor and Aldermen this past Monday night, Stephens reported that the process was all about “waiting and seeing.” He expected all systems to be up and restored by the following afternoon.
In order to better understand the problem in the event of its ever happening again, a postmortem was performed to come up with a long-term plan.
“There was about $500,000 worth of damage,” Stephens admitted.
“We flew in parts and paid for them to be seated first class. We have all the equipment here to rebuild. We just have to go through it piece by piece. We are sparing no expense to get this up and running as soon as possible.”
In employee’s reports, the board passed an amendment to the budget of $12,591.79 as the City of Dresden’s annual share of the Tri-City Landfill.
Public Works Director Kerry Cooper requested that $990 taken in from the sale of an old truck be put back into the street budget for repair and maintenance.
Water and Sewer Director Jeff Pierpoint reported that the recent storm had knocked out the water plant’s incubator and surge protector.
Sharon Appliance is coming Friday to look at the incubator. Pierpoint reported that about two million gallons of water had been infiltrated in the storm.
A normal amount is about 350,000 gallons.
Police Chief Brent Perry presented a donation of $50 from the police department to the local Relay for Life.
Fire Chief Paul Hutcherson reported that the hydrant flowing had been completed, but because of computer damage sustained from the storm, records would have to wait to be presented.
In addition, guidelines had been drawn up for the junior fire fighter program and were unamimously passed at the fire department board meeting.
Alderman Dick Tidwell made a motion to table passing the guidelines until more answers could be obtained from the Tennessee Municipal League regarding insurance.
The board voted to pass the sewer use ordinance with two key amendments:
• Wording should be changed from “Joints shall be rubber or neoprene ‘o’ ring compression joints” to “Joints shall be rubber or neoprene ‘o’ ring compression joints or equivalent.”
• Wording should be changed to “When a private sewer system becomes inoperable, a private sewage disposal system shall be placed in operation until the installation is completed to the satisfaction of the city and the county health department within 60 days of the date of availability.”
In other business, Tony Winstead was appointed to the Weakley County Economic Development Board as Dr. Joe Anderson relinquished his term.
A motion to join the National League of Cities passed.
This will include an option to offer a prescription drug program to those with no health insurance for a reduction in prescription drugs.
The board also voted to pass Ordinance 2009-14 to levy a property tax of $1.31 per $100 assessment for the purpose of funding municipal services.
The next meeting of the City of Dresden Board of Mayor and Aldermen will take place at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 1.