New Athens Municipal Water Authority Executive Director Ed Gatlin slid over a few seats from his former spot on the board on Tuesday as the directors discussed who would fill the vacancy.

The board considered two people interested for Gatlin's spot, but were deadlocked in making a choice. Jane Nettune and Marty Lindsey each received two votes. The board took no action, but will consider the vacancy again at the October meeting.

They did, however choose someone to assume Gatlin's role as vice president. Frank Lunceford will take over the VP position on the board. Other members are President Mike Peek, Don Foster and Milburn Chaney.

The board also approved the budget and tax rate on Tuesday. The budget contains expenditures of $1,561,980. That includes $1 million for the Powder River well capital project.

The Powder River plan will further lessen the city's dependence on Lake Athens water. AMWA has drilled eight test wells on the Powder River tract and Franks tract off FM 2495 to give Athens a potential water supply for decades. The wells are planned for contingency in the event of a severe drought. The Powder River project in the 2020 budget will include building the well, plant and pump station.

At the meeting, Gatlin gave the monthly Executive Director's report. Gatlin said Lake Athens measured 439.29 feet on Tuesday, nine inches below full. The City of Athens pumped 58.92 million gallons from the lake in August, while taking only 3.17 million from the well.

AMWA owns and maintains Lake Athens, to provide raw, untreated, wholesale water to the City of Athens. The City of Athens then treats, sells, and distributes water to their customers’ homes in the City of Athens.

The board also voted to name Smith Lambright and Associates as the financial auditor for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

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