STOKES COUNTY WATER AND SEWER AUTHORITY
JANUARY 10, 2008
The Stokes County Water and Sewer Authority met in the Commissioners Chambers of the Ronald Reagan Building with the following members present:
John Hawkins, Vice Chairman
Worth Hampton, Member
Arzell Montgomery, Member
Wayne Smart, Member
Scott Snow, Member
Mark Delehant, Public Works Director
Julia Edwards, Finance Director
Brenda Carter, Secretary
Mr. Hawkins brought the meeting to order.
Mr. Hawkins asked if there were any discussion of the minutes of November 8, 2007. As there was no discussion, Mr. Montgomery made a motion to approve the minutes, seconded by Mr. Hampton and the motion was approved.
INTRODUCTION OF NEW MEMBER
In the absence of Bryan Steen, the county manager, Mark Delehant introduced the new member, Scott Snow, to the Board. Mr. Snow informed the Board of his background and expertise he was bringing to the Board. The members welcomed Mr. Snow. Swearing in of the new member will be at the February meeting.
Mr. Hawkins asked for a motion to approve a new chairman. Mr. Smart made a motion to approve John Hawkins as the new Chairman, the motion was seconded by Mr. Hampton, and was unanimously approved.
Mr. Montgomery then made a motion to approve Worth Hampton as the Vice Chairman, seconded by Mr. Smart and the motion was unanimously approved.
Mr. Hawkins asked Mr. Delehant to speak to the Board concerning the new fees schedule. Mr. Delehant then reviewed the information that he had given the Board; current water rate information on other water systems in the area and figures regarding the present cost of operation and a copy of a Winston-Salem water bill to point out their justification for their most recent increase was to “pay for water/sewer capitol projects”.
Mr. Hawkins gave each member a copy of Water Rates figures that he had compiled for water usage, fees and amounts that might be added to the revenue.
Mr. Hawkins noted that there was a large amount of water being unaccounted for, but Mr. Delehant had a system in place that would check the amount of water being used and who was using it.
Mr. Montgomery noted that the Town of Walnut Cove had been using water from the Authority due to the fact they had no water in their tanks. He noted that this was not normal and the Authority could not rely on getting revenue from this source on a regular basis. Ms. Edwards noted that she could not bill for water usage in the past because she could not get a water reading and even though there was a meter, the meter had not been read. She had billed at one point on an average of water usage.
Mr. Delehant noted that he and Mr. Hawkins had met with the Town Manager of Walnut Cove, Homer Dearmin, about becoming a regular customer. They would be set up as a regular customer, charged $16.00 availability fee and would pay the same rate as the SCWS Authority pays the City of Winston-Salem.
Mr. Montgomery noted that he did not agree with this, that they should be charged more than the Winston-Salem rate. He noted that the Town of Walnut Cove is charging their customers and the SCWS Authority Board should be making a profit also.
Mr. Delehant noted that he had not agreed to anything only that they could expect to be billed for the water usage.
It was decided that the Board should base the rates on the 145 customers that are now being served and not depend on the Town of Walnut Cove as they may not use water the coming year and only depend on their $16.00 availability fee.
Mr. Delehant noted that he had spoke with the officials from Winston-Salem today and they informed him that the flushing at the end of the line, they will give him a meter and everything that goes through, they will be crediting back to the Authority. The Board was very glad to hear this.
After further discussion, concerning a rate increase for the Highway #65/Germanton users and a notice to go out in the February billing informing the customers of this increase, Mr. Montgomery made a motion to approve a rate increase from 2.76 to 3.10 per thousand gallons of usage, beginning with the March billing, seconded by Mr. Hampton and the motion was unanimously approved.
After further discussion Mr. Smart made a motion to charge the Town of Walnut Cove a $16.00 availability fee. The motion was seconded by Mr. Hawkins and was unanimously approved.
The Board then discussed water rates for Walnut Cove. After discussion Mr. Montgomery made a motion to charge the Town of Walnut Cove a flat rate of $3.10 per thousand gallons, the motion was seconded by Mr. Hampton and was unanimously approved. Mr. Montgomery amended the motion to be effective immediately, seconded by Mr. Hampton and the amended motion was approved unanimously.
Mr. Hawkins then brought to the attention of the Board, resolution changes to the current SCWS Authority Water System Policy that was adopted December 14, 1999.
Mr. Hawkins gave each member a copy of changes that he recommended, as follows:
Article II Sec 30 ( c ) Delete all
Add: Per Usage Rate. Germanton Water Customers will be charged per 1,000 gallons of water furnished through each meter per monthly billing period as set forth in the fee schedule.
Article II. Sec. 30 (d) Delete: $12 per month
Add: $16 per month
Article III Sec. 42. Add (b) (3) Water Rates.
Residential/Small Business _______per 1,000 gallons
Town of Walnut Cove $3.10 per thousand gallons
Article III Sec. 42 (b) (1) Add:
3” Tap ________
6” Tap ________
Note: A cost recovery fee may be applicable, depending on location. Where the County’s cost exceeds these tap fees and/or meter fees, the charge will be based on the actual cost plus 20%.
With discussion of tap fees, it was noted that with residential customers, the tap fees be paid as a lot is sold. Ms. Edwards questioned the cost for a ¾ inch tap that the cost was $1,500 and Mr. Delehant noted that this was correct, but a clause should be added that if the installation exceeded this amount that it would fall into cost plus 20%. Mr. Hawkins noted that he had included this in the paragraph of his recommendations.
Mr. Hawkins noted that there was a motion to eliminate the 1½ inch tap fee and to add all other tap fees will be at a cost plus 20% and to note at the bottom of the page that this will cover all tap fees.
Ms. Edwards noted that she understood that if a citizen came in they would be charged $1,500 for a tap on, but if a developer comes there will be no charge. Mr. Hampton noted that a developer pays for installing the system and then gives the system to you. Mr. Delehant noted that there are no specifications to give to a developer for the correct pipe to use and the pipe has to be the same to be able to maintain the system.
Mr. Hawkins then asked if the Board approved the changes to the resolution. Mr. Hampton made a motion to approve the changes to the resolution, seconded by Mr. Montgomery and the motion was unanimously approved.
WALNUT COVE NEW DEVELOPMENT
There was discussion concerning the new development in Walnut Cove and where they would be connecting to the water lines. Mr. Hawkins noted that he had been informed by Lisa Edwards that the developer was tapping into the Walnut Cove side of the system. Mr. Montgomery noted that a turning lane would be required and the vault would have to be moved at that time, and who would pay for this and who would it benefit. After discussion Mr. Hawkins noted that he and Mr. Delehant could meet with the Town Manager to discuss this issue. This matter was tabled until the next meeting.
Ms. Edwards noted that she had positive response from the customers concerning the new billing system. There had been a few problems with addressing/billing, but this was being addressed.
Mr. Hawkins noted with the matter of the Christian Child Care Center that this was taken care of and Ms. Edwards noted that it had been.
Mr. Snow addressed the issue of the delinquent bills and if they had been caught up. Mr. Delehant noted that with the billing sent out, there was a set date that if these were not paid they would be turned over to NC Debt Clearing and this will be pulled out of their state taxes.
Mr. Hampton asked the status on the Golder Associates Project and Mr. Delehant noted that the next step was to contact property owners to get their approval to do testing on their land.
The Board agreed that the next meeting would be February 21, 2008 at 3:00 and with there being no further business to discuss, Mr. Hampton made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Montgomery and the motion was approved.