2019 Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting Notice

The next Annual Meeting of the Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative will take place at 6:00 pm on Thursday, October 24, 2019, at the Cottonwood Estates Clubhouse.  All members are encouraged to attend.

Invitation to the Annual Meeting

On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to invite you to attend the Sixth Annual Meeting of the Members of Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative, at 6:00 PM, Thursday, October 24, 2019. The clubhouse is located at 180 Cottonwood Drive, Franklin, TN 37069.

The agenda for the meeting will include a report on the current status of the Utility and a year-end financial report. The meeting will conclude with election of Board Members and an opportunity for comments and questions from members. Remember, only members may vote in the election. If you are not yet a member of the utility, please sign up for membership before October 24, 2019 at www.harpethcoop.com.

For further information, please call our office or use the contact form on the website. I hope to see you on October 24th!

Sincerely Yours,

Mike Knotts
Chairman,
Board of Directors

Annual Meeting - Official Notification

 
 

2018 Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting Notice

The next Annual Meeting of the Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative will take place at 6:00 pm on Thursday, November 8, 2018, at the Berry’s Chapel Church of Christ, in the multi-purpose building located at the back of the church property, 1777 S. Berry’s Chapel Rd.  All members are encouraged to attend.

Invitation to the Annual Meeting

On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to invite you to attend the Fifth Annual Meeting of the Members of Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative, at 6:00 PM, Thursday, November 8, 2018, at the Berry’s Chapel Church of Christ.  We will meet in their multi-purpose building located at the back of the church property at 1777 S. Berry’s Chapel Rd, Franklin, TN 37069.

The agenda for the meeting will include a report on the current status of the Utility and a year-end financial report. The meeting will conclude with election of Board Members and an opportunity for comments and questions from members. Remember, only members may vote in the election. If you are not yet a member of the utility, please sign up for membership before November 6, 2018 at www.harpethcoop.com.

For further information, please call our office or use the contact form on the website. I hope to see you on November 8th!

Sincerely Yours,

Mike Knotts
Chairman,
Board of Directors


Annual Meeting Agenda

Annual Meeting - Official Notification


2017 Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting Notice

The next Annual Meeting of the Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative will take place at 6:30 pm on Thursday, November 2, 2017, at the Cottonwood Estates Clubhouse.  All members are encouraged to attend.

Invitation to the Annual Meeting

On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to invite you to attend the Fourth Annual Meeting of the Members of Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative, at 6:30 PM Thursday, November 2, 2017 at the Cottonwood Estates Clubhouse.  The clubhouse is located at 180 Cottonwood Drive, Franklin, TN 37069.

The agenda for the meeting will include a report on the current status of the Utility and a year-end financial report.  The meeting will conclude with election of Board Members and an opportunity for comments and questions from members.  Remember, only members may vote in the election.  If you are not yet a member of the utility, please sign up for membership today at www.harpethcoop.com.

For further information, please call our office or use the contact form on the website. I hope to see you on November 2nd!

Sincerely Yours,

Mike Knotts, Chairman

 

Annual Meeting Agenda

 

Annual Meeting - Official Notification

To download, click on the "Click to read" link to open a reader page, then click on the "share" link (rectangle with arrow) on the bottom of the document reader page, and select Download.


2016 Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting Notice

The next Annual Meeting of the Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative will take place at 7:00 pm on Thursday, November 10, 2016, at the Cottonwood Estates Clubhouse.  All members are encouraged to attend.

Invitation to the Annual Meeting

On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to invite you to attend the third Annual Meeting of the Members of Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative, at 7:00 PM Thursday, November 10, 2016 at the Cottonwood Estates Clubhouse.  The clubhouse is located at 180 Cottonwood Drive, Franklin, TN 37069.

The agenda for the meeting will include a report on the current status of the Utility and a year-end financial report. The meeting will conclude with election of Board Members and an opportunity for comments and questions from members. Remember, only members may vote in the election. If you are not yet a member of the utility, please sign up for membership today at www.harpethcoop.com.

For further information, please call our office or use the contact form on the website. I hope to see you on November 10th!

Sincerely Yours,

Mike Knotts, Chairman

 

Annual Meeting Agenda

 

Annual Meeting - Official Notification

To download, click on the "Click to read" link to open a reader page, then click on the "share" link (rectangle with arrow) on the bottom of the document reader page, and select Download.

The next Annual Meeting of the Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative will take place at 7:00 pm on Thursday, November 10, 2016, at the Cottonwood Clubhouse.  All members are encouraged to attend.  More information about the next Annual Meeting coming soon....

Audit Report - Fiscal Year 2014-15


2015 Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting Notice

The next Annual Meeting of the Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative will take place at 2:00 pm on Saturday, October 24, 2015, at the Berry's Chapel Church of Christ Community Room.  All members are encouraged to attend.

 

Invitation to the Annual Meeting

On behalf of the entire Board of Directors, I would like to invite you to attend the second Annual Meeting of the Members of Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative, at 2:00 PM Saturday, October 24, 2015 at Berry’s Chapel Church of Christ.

The agenda for the meeting will include a report on the current status of the Utility and a year-end financial report. The meeting will conclude with election of Board Members and an opportunity for comments and questions from members. Remember, only members may vote in the election. If you are not yet a member of the utility, please sign up for membership today at www.harpethcoop.com.

For further information, please call our office or use the contact form on the website. I hope to see you on October 24th!

Sincerely Yours,

Mike Knotts, Chairman

 

Annual Meeting Agenda


Annual Meeting - Official Notification

To download, click on the "Click to read" link to open a reader page, then click on the "share" link (rectangle with arrow) on the bottom of the document reader page, and select Download.

Audit Report - Fiscal Year 2013-14


2014 Annual Meeting

Annual Meeting Minutes


Annual Meeting Notice

The first Annual Meeting of the Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative will take place at 10:00 am on Saturday, August 23, 2014, at the Berry's Chapel Church of Christ Community Room.  All members are encouraged to attend and to vote in how the utility operates.

 

Invitation to the Annual Meeting

On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to invite you to attend the first Annual Meeting of the Members of Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative, at 10:00 AM Saturday, August 23, 2014 in the Community Room at Berry’s Chapel Church of Christ.

The agenda for the meeting will include a report on the current status of the Utility, a year-end financial report, and proposed by-law changes to facilitate the continued conversion of the utility into a cooperative. Copies of these proposed changes are available for your review on our website, www.harpethcoop.com, along with the current charter and by-laws. I encourage you to review them before the meeting.

The meeting will conclude with election of the Board of Directors and an opportunity for comments and questions from members. Remember, only members may vote in the election. Please sign up for membership today.

Recognizing the tremendous amount of change that has occurred since the current Board’s election in March, the Board would like to share a review of the current state of HWC as well as the many remaining challenges ahead for our sewer company. We have prepared a Strategic Action Report, which can also be viewed at www.harpethcoop.com/news. A brief summary is included with this letter.  The full document contains much more information.

Included in the full document are the latest developments related to the utility’s proposed rate change, as well as the company’s agreement with the Harpeth River Watershed Association to avoid litigation and help protect the Harpeth River.

For further information, please call our office or use the contact form on the website. We hope to see you on August 23rd!

Sincerely Yours, 

Mike Knotts Chairman

 

Annual Meeting Agenda

Annual Meeting - Official Notification

Strategic Action Report

Financial Report

Minutes of the Special Meeting held on March 13, 2014


Letter from Mike Knotts and the Board of Directors - progress update - June 24, 2014

It has been almost two months since we wrote to inform you that Berry’s Chapel Utility, Inc., your sewer provider, has become the Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative. Since that time the customer-elected Board of Directors has been conducting a strategic review of the company. While the review is not fully complete, a number of new financial controls and cost containment efforts have gone into effect. Additionally, the company is working to eliminate and/or substantially reduce the long-term debts that are putting tremendous upward pressure on the rates the company must charge to recoup its costs. We believe these efforts, along with additional cost savings, will provide enough revenue to allow the utility to perform its basic mission of treating sewage and protecting the Harpeth River.

What has been most surprising to us, however, is the fact that the utility is operating with no cash savings or any ability to borrow funds for a significant capital expenditure.  For instance, if a large piece of equipment at the sewer treatment plan were to fail, the company has no ability to replace that equipment and would be unable to perform its mission.  This is a significant problem that requires immediate action.

The previous owners of the utility had requested from the Tennessee Regulatory Authority a rate increase of $9 per customer, per month, that would be indefinite in nature. This week, we will be amending that request. We are asking for approval to collect a $4 per month capital improvement fee, which will only be collected for 24 months and will held in an escrow account to be used only for equipment replacement and repairs. Further, we are asking for $1 per month fee to provide for a state-mandated “financial security fund,” which will only be collected for 12 months.

We take our two responsibilities to you very seriously: to provide a necessary service, and provide it at the lowest possible cost. This step is absolutely necessary to ensure that your sewer can continue to operate. To read the full request or provide comments to us about this change, please visit our website at www.harpethcoop.com.

On behalf of the Board of Directors,

 Mike Knotts

 Chairman

 

Mike Knotts' June 24, 2014, TRA testimony for Docket 14-000004

Berry's Chapel Utility, Inc is now Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative

Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative (HWC), formerly Berry’s Chapel Utility, Inc., is your new sewer provider.  HWC has been reorganized to operate solely for the benefit of its customers.

HWC serves all or some of the Chapelwood, Cottonwood, Farmington, Legend’s Ridge, and River Landing subdivisions. After many years of private ownership, a petition drive resulted in a Special Meeting that was held on March 13. At that meeting, a new Board of Directors was elected to serve as the governing body of the utility. This Board is made up of individuals who are both customers of the utility and have no conflict of interest in determining the policies that guide the utility’s operations.

On April 5th, the new Board assumed full control of the company and has begun a strategic review to evaluate the governance, financial health, rate structure, operations, and environmental impact of the utility. This review could result in additional changes, however, we want to assure you that the core mission of the utility is to treat wastewater in the most effective and efficient manner. Any changes that may be made will be for the benefit of all of the customers of the utility, and will not alter that core mission.

Questions and Answers

Q: Why has there been a change?
A: Berry’s Chapel Utility was declared a non-profit company in 2010, but never fulfilled its duty under state law to hold annual meetings and elect independent directors to govern the company. Therefore, it became necessary to change the governance structure to ensure the customers of the utility were represented and protected. The previous owners have resigned their positions from the Board of Directors, and are cooperating in the transition.

Q: What is a cooperative?
A: Most likely, you do already do business with cooperatives like Sunkist orange juice, Land-O-Lakes butter, your credit union, a “mutual” insurance company, or even your electric company (MTMEC). They are all based on the cooperative business model — which means that the company is owned and controlled by its own members, not stockholders who seek a profit.

Q: So, who owns Harpeth Wastewater Cooperative?
A: It is owned by its members. Right now, however, not all of HWC’s customers are members because they have not signed a form indicating that they wish to be a member. We encourage all customers to become members.  Become a member today by clicking the link below.

Q: Why should I become a member?
A: Membership means that you have the right to vote on matters of company business, such as electing members of the Board. Becoming a member also means that you own a proportional share of the company’s assets along with all the other members. It is important to note that "a member of a corporation is not, as such, personally liable for the acts, debts, liabilities, or obligations of the corporation”  according to state law (Tennessee Code Annotated 48-56-203).

Q: Are the charges I see on my bill correct?
A: The current monthly customer charge of $30.00, a capital improvement facility charge of $4.50 and usage charge of $6.37 per 1000 gallons of water are correct, and have been approved by the utility’s regulator. If you have a concern about a past due balance or billing issue, such as your refund of the previous invalid customer charge, please call the office and the staff will assist you.

Q: Why is my sewer bill higher than my water bill?
A: As a very small utility, Harpeth does not have the ability to spread its costs across a large rate base like other local water and sewer utilities can. Regrettably, and unavoidably, this results in higher per unit costs to our customers. The new Board will be examining every available method to lower costs, while maintaining the appropriate level of wastewater treatment required by its permits.

Q: Will rates go up again?
A: We don’t know yet. A request to increase rates was filed with the Tennessee Regulatory Authority before the change in governance occurred. The new Board has requested a delay in that process to give it additional time to review all the financial records of the company, before determining if a request for additional revenue is warranted.