Atchley retires after 31 years at water department

After 31 years of working in the water industry, Jack Atchley retires from Fayetteville Public Utilities.


Hired on Dec. 27, 1978, Jack began work at the Fayetteville Water Treatment Plant as an operator. Two years later, he received his grade 3 operator license and in 1983 he was promoted to assistant supervisor of the water plant. In 1984, he received his grade 4 operator license and was also promoted to plant supervisor when the position was vacated by Joe Self who entered the Air Force that year. Jack

In 1986, the Fayetteville Water Treatment Plant was awarded the American Water Works Award of Excellence for Water Treatment Plant Operation.

Jack later became general superintendent of the Fayetteville Water and Sewer System and in 2000 he was named assistant manager. Upon the retirement of then General Manager Johnny Holcomb, Jack was promoted to the GM position in April 2002.

Five months later, the Fayetteville Board of Mayor and Aldermen consolidated the city utilities. As the electric, natural gas, water and sewer departments were merged into becoming Fayetteville Public Utilities, Jack became the Water and Sewer Department Operations Manager.

Over the past 31 years, Jack has seen several major changes in the operation of the water and sewer departments. The renovations and upgrades to the Water Treatment Plant in 1984 and 1998 and the 1988 Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades are just a few.  He remembers early in his career having to manually turn the water valves and wash the filters by hand, while today those same tasks are done electronically using computerized technology.

Not only has Jack contributed much to the water department, he's also dedicated his time to the community.  Over his many years of community service, he has served three years as a board member of the Fayetteville-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce and also served as board president in 2006. He has been a member of the Fayetteville Kiwanis Club since 1985 and has served as both secretary and president of the club. He is a 2005 graduate of the Leadership Lincoln. In the late 1980s, Jack has served as secretary of the Tennessee Water Quality Management Association. He has also served as past president of the Fayetteville Umpire Association and as past president of the Fayetteville Softball Association. Along with his dedication to community service is his 2006 election as a Lincoln County Commissioner where he will serve until his term expires in August 2010.

He is a member of the Prospect Baptist Church where he serves as a deacon, a member of the men's brotherhood group and Sunday night Bible study teacher for the adults.

Aside from his career at FPU, many of you know Jack Atchley as the "Voice of the Lincoln County Falcons" as he has spent the past 10 years as WYTM-FM's play-by-play radio announcer for high school football games. He has also served as past announcer of high school basketball and Fayetteville Junior High football games. For the past 20 years, he's served as the morning sports reporter for the station. Upon retirement from FPU he plans to continue his part-time radio career which also includes his Sunday morning radio show each week on WYTM-FM.

Jack looks forward to his retirement years with his wife of 35 years, Carolyn. He plans to spend lots of time with his wife, two daughters and three grandchildren while awaiting the birth of his fourth grandchild in March 2010.

Jack's long career in the FPU Water and Wastewater Department was celebrated on August 28 with his work friends and family present to commend his years of service.