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Tullahoma Utilities Board (TUA) is in the works of introducing a Round Up Program, a community assistance program that will be funded by voluntary contributions from utility customers of TUA.

A policy has been developed to allow TUA to enroll current utility customers into the TUA Round Up Program. The policy states that by rounding up utility bills to the next highest dollar, the funds collected will be distributed to approved local charities and other individuals in need. The first reading of the policy was presented to the TUA Board of Directors during their regular meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 21.

The program will be administered by TUA Board of Directors with recommendations from the appointed TUA Round Up Program Committee.

Customers may opt-out of the program by contacting TUA and a contribution refund can be issued for up to six months, if requested. New utility customers must opt-in to participate after the initial opt-out launch.

President Brian Skelton met with the Round Up Committee and staff to recommend a policy and the program guidelines. Due to timing constraints, the policy has not gone through the Policy Committee but will go through a full review prior to the upcoming second reading.

The Round Up Committee includes Mike Stanton, Brian Skelton, Mary Mealer, Brian Coate, Randy Brewer, Vickie Brown and Shannon Hamblin.

The first policy presented to the board included the objective of the Round Up Program. The program is a community assistance program that will be funded by voluntary contributions from utility customers of TUA. The contributions will be used to support local families in need and the organizations that serve them.

The mission statement is “It takes change to make a change. By rounding up your utility bill to the nearest whole dollar, you can help support local families in need and the organizations that serve them. The TUA Round Up Program costs a typical TUA customer less than $6.00 per year. That’s small change, but together, it adds up to make a big change.”

A second policy will be presented at the next TUA Board of Directors meeting in February. March and April’s meetings will consist of deliberating advertisement of the Opt-Out Program. The Round Up Program is projected to kick off in May.

Annual funding is to be approved by the TUA Board of Directors with the Round Up Committee’s recommendations in January 2021. 

The committee already has two recommended distributions for 2020.

Organizations that the program anticipates funding in 2021 include Partners for Healing, Good Samaritan, Shepherds House, FUMC Henry Center, Trinity Care Center, Tullahoma Day Care Center, The Attic Outlet, Haven of Hope, Inc. and The Salvation Army.

Katelyn Lawson may be reached at klawson@tullahomanews.com.

 

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