New Pulaski Electric System CEO Scott Newton addressed the Pulaski Board of Mayor and Aldermen at its work session last week.
A contract was recently reached between Newton and PES, according to City Attorney Andy Hoover, making Newton the new PES CEO.
Newton informed the city council that the first three phases of an LED street lighting project have been completed but the next purchase of $50,000 worth of lighting has been delayed.
“We hope to get them soon so we can continue installing,” he said.
Only 135 customers are enrolled in the Emergency Broadband Benefit program, Newton said, adding that he felt that was still a low number. He said avenues are being taken to “let the people know that free money is there.”
Newton said PES should know by Nov. 15 if they qualified for the $5 million NTIA fiber expansion grant, and the state broadband grant’s final rules were postponed by the U.S. Treasury, so no award would be given before June 2022.
An application for the Community Cares TVA grant was sent in to be applied toward internet hot spots in other cities within the county, he said.
If the Community Cares grant does not get approved, Newton said the state has a similar grant for downtown hot spots and the application could then be submitted to them.
Two old wooden poles that have been hindering the sidewalk project on the north end of town still need to be removed, and Newton said Mayor Pat Ford has contacted the companies to ask them to remove their equipment from the poles so PES can take them down.
The electric vehicle charging stations that were not being supported at the Courthouse have been removed, Newton said, adding that PES is installing Fleet chargers on the parking deck for its vehicles.
The state is suggesting a DC fast charging station be available every 50 miles and while Newton said the city was somewhat “outside that loop,” PES will be applying for that grant.
A company has been hired to do physical and cyber security to PES substations, he said, adding that they will be coming in October.
Newton said there have been more outages recently due to vegetation and PES is working on that issue as well.
City Hall Renovations
City Administrator Terry Harrison recently supplied options for upgrades to City Hall for the council to choose.
Some of those choices included painting the brick, a sitting area and smaller tree planted in the front, the removal of the magnolia trees and planters, removing double doors and putting a single door in the middle.
Harrison also asked about the signage on the front. Just having “City Hall” seemed to be the most popular choice of board members.
Harrison said he would inform architect, Brad Martin, to move ahead but would request a “color rendition” for the board to see.
The city council heard about a request from a local business owner for a Tesla Destination charger to be installed downtown.
The board decided to wait to hear from the requestee who Ford said he would ask to come and discuss it with them.
Harrison said he expected most Tesla owners will charge them at home or at destinations along the interstate.
With the board deciding to go with the state mutual aid agreement and assist Giles County Fire and Rescue in areas outside city limits at GCFR's request, Harrison said the board needs to decide what to do with the fire contracts.
Alderman Ricky Keith said the contracts would become “obsolete.”
Harrison suggested the board not renew contracts after August 2022 and no longer accept prorated contracts until then as well.
Meeting in regular session yesterday (Tuesday), the board approved amending the fire contract ordinance on first reading to discontinue the contracts after August 2022. The fire contracts can not be prorated and will not be renewed.
Of the existing contracts, those homeowners will not be charged the $1,000 if the Pulaski Fire Department responds.
With those contracts, the Pulaski Fire Department responds immediately. With the mutual aid agreement, the Pulaski Fire Department will respond to those homes outside of city limits at the request of Giles County Fire and Rescue.
The second reading will be held Tuesday, Oct. 26, at 12:05 p.m.
In other business during its regular session Oct. 12, the board:
•Approved parade permits for Main Street and Downtown Merchants — Mingle Jingle/Tree Lighting Thursday, Dec. 2, Giles Chamber Chili Cook-Off Thursday, Oct. 21, Main Street/Historic Downtown (Saturdays on the Square) Saturday, Nov. 13, and Main Street/Historic Downtown (Saturdays on the Square/Christmas Parade) Saturday, Dec. 11, with rain date as Tuesday, Dec. 14.
•Approved the sale of the police department’s surplus (three or four) vehicles on GovDeals.com.
“We got our use out of them,” City Administrator Terry Harrison said.
As beer board:
•Approved special event permit/temporary beer permits for Giles Chamber for Thursday, Oct. 21, and Main Street/Historic Downtown for Thursday, Nov. 13, and Saturday, Dec. 11, with rain date as Tuesday, Dec. 14.
The city council next meets at City Hall in work session Monday, Oct. 18, at 4:30 p.m.