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Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Newport Utilities
It was last week that the Tennessee Department of Transportation(TDOT) announced that funding for the Newport Bypass is included in the 2020 state budget. The construction of the Bypass, from St. Tide Hollow Road to the north, to the Tninwood Drive intersection of West Highway 25/70, will cross both the French Broad and Pigeon Rivers. That project is expected to take about three years. Waterworks manager Clint Hammonds on Tuesday told the Newport Utilities Board that the project will require moving utility service in some areas, but those costs will be borne by TDOT. In addition, new lines will be added during construction to serve future customers. Hammonds said his department is about to begin another sewer study in an effort to locate defects in clay pipes that are falling apart. The members were told that 1163 customers have subscribed for the new broadband, and 65 percent of the original budget has been spent. Plans are to expend service into Del Pio and Parrottsville in May. In addition, the utility currently has a backlog of connections t9o commercial customers. Henry McClary of the Tobes Creek area of Waterville, encouraged the board to expand broadband service pointing out that lots of people with remote businesses are moving into the area and need high-speed Internet. He said the area "is a gold mine" which just recently has been discovered by residents of other areas. General manager Glenn Ray said the broadband installation is ahead of schedule, and McClary was told he should have service by years end. And Ray told the board that TVA is continuing to meet with local businesses to explain the available incentives for future expansions.

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