The Pigeon Forge Board of Commissioners voted to approve a bit of aid for Katrina evacuees who have relocated to the Pigeon Forge area at their Monday night meeting.
The proposed resolution would waive the security deposit and hook up fees for water and sewer service.
The idea was brought to city officials by the East Tennessee Community Services Agency which also established a shelter assistance program for Katrina evacuees. The agency is funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency through the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and is administered by the State Department of Finance and Administration through the Tennessee Community Services Agencies.
The ETCS agency would be liable for any deposit monies which would have been used for lost payments.
A similar fee waiver was rejected earlier this month by the Sevierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
Alderman Claude Ownby expressed concern over the resolution arguing that similar proposals have never been made for needy families already living in the area. “We’ve got good people here having trouble paying the bills,” alderman Ownby said.
Sevierville City Attorney Dennis Jarvis was concerned with the time period of the term period for the program which isn’t expressly stated in the proposal.
The Sevierville city officials voted to defer any action on the resolution until they could find out more information on the program. “We need to get an answer from FEMA to see how long this program is going to go, and see what happens if an individual pulls out,” said Sevierville Mayor Brian Atchley.
Sevierville officials ascertained that the proposed resolution would waive the security deposit and hook up fees for water and sewer service, totaling $125. Since the $100 deposit does not amount to any actual revenue for the city, the $25 connection fee would be the only cost for the city, per household.