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Citizens of Be Vocal. Choose Local.

Committee urge the Town of Signal


Mountain to choose Walden’s Ridge Utility District for town’s water system
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN, Tenn. (March 22, 2018) - At a public hearing tonight hosted by the Town of Signal
Mountain, citizens of Be Vocal. Choose Local - a committee formed after the town issued a request for
proposals for its water system - urged the town to choose Walden’s Ridge Utility District (WRUD).
Speaking in favor of WRUD, citizens said its water comes from an aquifer requiring far less treatment,
has local customer service on the mountain and is not a for-profit utility.

“You’ve heard from Lone Oak Utility District about their issues with Tennessee American, and you’ve
heard from me about why going with Tennessee American would be problematic,” said Eugenia
Allderdice, co-chair of Be Vocal. Choose Local., while addressing the council at tonight’s public hearing.
“I ask you again, ‘Why would we even consider Tennessee American when our sister towns right here on
the mountain ended their agreements with them?’ Walden and Lone Oak determined that Tennessee
American wasn’t the best choice for their communities, and it isn’t the best choice for Signal Mountain
either. We choose Walden’s Ridge Utility District.”

WRUD has offered to buy the system for $3.6 million or manage the system if the town decides to go in
that direction. Tennessee American Water Company (TAWC) has offered $3.4 million to buy the system.

“The difference in water quality between WRUD and Tennessee American should not be ignored,” said
Dave Evans, co-chair of Be Vocal. Choose Local. “Tennessee American water has eight times the total
trihalomethanes (TTHM) than WRUD’s water. TTHM is a by-product of the chlorination process.
Tennessee American’s levels are just a little more than 12 percent below the limit allowed by law and
roughly eight times more than WRUD. If we want the highest quality water for families on Signal
Mountain, then the clear choice is WRUD.”

WRUD’s plan is to switch the Town of Signal Mountain’s water supply to Hixson Utility District, where
WRUD gets its water, which is aquifer water. In a recent report, Hixson Utility District had only 8.8 parts
per billion of TTHM, while TAWC had 73 parts per billion, about eight times as much. Applicable law
limits TTHM levels in drinking water to 80 parts per billion.

Both proposals submitted to the Town of Signal Mountain outline not raising rates for five years.
However, unlike TAWC rates, which go before the Tennessee Public Utility Commission (TPUC) and could
go up, the local WRUD board of commissioners has total discretion in deciding rates. In addition, TAWC,
as stated in its proposal, adds capital riders to customers’ bills, which are extra fees added onto each
bill.
TAWC and WRUD are both offering employment to all qualified existing Signal Mountain water
department employees. WRUD has offered to grant the Town of Signal Mountain a seat on its board of
commissioners. As far as customer service, WRUD’s office is on Signal Mountain and offers local, 24/7
customer service.

The Town of Signal Mountain has scheduled two more meetings to hear from citizens - March 28 and
April 3 - both at 6:30 p.m. at the gym located at 1111 Ridgeway Ave. The planning commission is
expected to give a recommendation on April 5, and then, the town council is scheduled to vote on the
recommendation and selected proposal on April 9.

About Be Vocal. Choose Local.


Be Vocal. Choose Local. is a committee formed by a group of Signal Mountain, Tenn., residents
advocating to keep our water local. Our goal is to urge the Town of Signal Mountain to sell its water
system to Walden’s Ridge Utility District as opposed to Tennessee American Water Company, a
subsidiary of American Water Company, LLC. For more information about the Be Vocal. Choose Local.
campaign, please visit bevocalchooselocal.org/, and follow the campaign on Facebook
at www.facebook.com/voteWRUD/ and Twitter at www.twitter.com/voteWRUD.

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