Williamson Utility Board update

WILLIAMSON – Williamson Mayor Robert Carlton recently released a press release providing an update on the Williamson Utility Board (WUB).

In the press release, Carlton explains how the WUB functions, the impact of a recent rate adjustment to both water and sewer by the Public Service Commission (PSC) and future water and sewer projects suggested to the WUB by engineers.

In the release, Carlton first explains how the WUB functions stating, “The Williamson Utility Board (WUB)with the Mayor as Chairman, was created by and is heavily intertwined with the City, however it is a separate organizational unit and budgets separate from the City Hall Departments which include Mayor, Clerk, Police, Fire, Streets and Sanitation i.e. Garbage collection. Veolia has a contract to run the WUB water plant and sewer plant. Veolia has it’s own Certified Plant Operators and employees who maintain, chemically treat and test the water, repair the systems and repair water and sewer lines.”

Carlton also discusses the rate adjustment. In the press release Carlton states, “The WUB was recently granted a rate adjustment and the PSC expects the new rates to fund water and sewer services and in addition over a three year period significantly reduce or eliminate the arrearages owed to Veolia for contracted operational and management services incurred but unpaid since revenues from water and sewer bills had been insufficient to cover the costs of those services. Rate adjustments can be implemented for bills mailed after May 28, 2016 due to the rulings in the appeals that were only recently resolved. The PSC and utility experts who for several days audited the WUB arrived at the calculations for the adjustments. The adjustments allow the WUB to simply meet it’s costs of providing water and sewer services.”

The press release also discusses up grades that have been recommended to the WUB. Carlton states, “The water and sewer plants are functional for now. However, the Repairs and Replacement fund was recently utilized to the extent of $25,000 for sewer plant repairs. Engineers are proposing updating both systems including some new lines to replace the aging water distribution network which is 26 miles of pipelines. A public hearing is being finalized for August so the engineers can present the information to our residents. Costs for the systems would be 12 million for the water upgrades and four million for the sewer upgrades. If the upgrades are made, the monthly costs would be around $50,000 in new or replacement debt service since it is customary to time these major improvements to coincide with the payoff of existing bonds.”

The WUB holds regular meetings at Williamson City Hall. The WUB meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 3:30 p.m.

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