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Laurel Hills Settlement Agreement

Friday, February 22, 2019 | 04:30pm

COMMISSION APPROVES SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT TRANSFERRING LAUREL HILLS WATER SYSTEM
TO CRAB ORCHARD UTILITY DISTRICT

Nashville, Tennessee – The Tennessee Public Utility Commission (TPUC) approved a settlement agreement between the Commission and water utility systems involved in litigation that dates back nearly a decade – the results of which will ensure safe, adequate, and reliable potable water for the impacted community.

The settlement agreement resolves seven years of ongoing litigation related to the Laurel Hills Water System (LHWS) and conditionally transfers ownership of all real property and assets from the water system receivership to Crab Orchard Utility District (COUD) provided it completes all of the necessary infrastructure improvements for serving the residents of Renegade Mountain, which include the rehabilitation of the water tower and relocation of the main water supply line. The Agreement also provides for the granting of easements necessary to complete the water system rehabilitation projects.

"The settlement of this litigation will assist the customers of the water system, promote the future development of the area by the provision of reliable water service, and save the State future expenditures related to the receivership and corresponding litigation," said Robin Morrison, TPUC Chair.

All parties agree that the estimated cost of the water system repair and upgrades is approximately $925,000. In order to settle the outstanding litigation, the Agreement requires TPUC to contribute these funds to the COUD with the transfer of the water system provided that the COUD completes the necessary repairs and improvements. The Settlement ends significant resources expended by TPUC to ensure continued water service to the residents of Renegade Mountain, and litigation of six related cases involving a multitude of parties, in multiple court venues.

"I’m very pleased that the residents of Renegade Mountain will once again have safe, reliable and affordable source of potable water," said State Senator Paul Bailey.  State Representative Cameron Sexton added, "I am very appreciative of all the parties involved, particularly, the TPUC and Crab Orchard Utility District for working diligently to resolve this litigation which will significantly reduce the monthly water bills for the residents of Laurel Hills."

The utility system, originally operated by Laurel Hills Water System (LHWS) served the residents of Renegade Mountain in Cumberland County, Tennessee. A change in ownership of the system led to a disruption of water service to the residents, causing the residents to seek and obtain water in alternative ways, which led to receivership and the Agreement to transfer it to the COUD.

The mission of the Tennessee Public Utility Commission is to ensure the safe and reliable provision of the public utility services to the citizens of Tennessee. TPUC strives to serve the best interests of the public in its utility oversight and agency operations.

Contact: Greg Mitchell, Media
(615) 741-6883