Sewer rates to increase for customers

By Troy Brooks - [email protected]

The board adjourns after an hour of discussing the budget and upcoming projects.

Troy Brooks | The Tribune

The Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority (YVSA) held a meeting Tuesday morning to hold a public hearing for the 2016-2017 fiscal year budget as well as to discuss updates on projects and concerns in the system.

The two most significant components of the budget include two fee increases which are contained within the schedule of fees for volumetric rate and the minimum bill.

The volumetric rate will be increased from $9 per 1,000 gallons above the 2,000 gallons to $9.50 per 1,000 gallons above the 2,000 gallons. The minimum bill also will be increased from $20 for 2,000 gallons to $21 for 2,000 gallons. The net impact of these increases will bring in an extra $98,280 for the YVSA.

The increase in rates is due to operating costs and necessary capital expenditures, according to YVSA officials. The YVSA’s aging infrastructure and equipment have continued to require upgrades and replacements. The capital expenditures are required in order to stay in compliance with state and EPA rules regarding the protection of the environment. Estimates suggest the total future identified Capital Improvement Plan will be more than $10 million to further allow the YVSA to meet these rules.

The YVSA is expecting projected revenues of $1,995,780. Elkin is projected to provide $1,260,000 in revenues, Jonesville $552,000, and Ronda $78,000. The YVSA also projects $5,000 for sewer taps and $2,500 for billable lab analysis.

Next year’s expenses are projected to come out at $1,995,780. A notable contributor to those expense will be $430,200 in debt payment for projects and debt reimbursement for the town of Elkin. Operating expenses are projected to be $1,356.034, capital outlay at $150,000, and provisions for fund balance at $59,546.

The YVSA also projected a fund balance increase of 3.08 percent for a total of $59,546 revenues exceeding expense.

During the review of the budget, Secretary and Treasurer John Holcomb requested another followup meeting to be held near the end of June to form the budget amendments. Holcomb believes the meeting will only take about five minutes.

While the YVSA held a public hearing for the budget, nobody showed up for the meeting. The budget for the 2016-2017 year was approved unanimously.

Several sewer overflows were reported for the month of May. Two were on May 2 at the regional pump station and the station at Crater Park. Both were caused by heavy rainfall. Another one was reported on May 26 off of Ivy Circle at manhole 26 during a vacuum test of the manhole in excess of 200 gallons. The last episode was reported on June 7 at the Hampton Inn Pump Station behind Hampton Inn, during which 50 gallons were lost due to pump station equipment failure.

Benjie Thomas, engineer, updated everyone on the status of the Southwest Elkin Rehab project and the PGW project.

The Southwest Elkin Rehab project, which involves rehabilitating about five miles of the Southwest Elkin Area lines, is nearing completion with the only remaining work left being on the Johnson Funeral Home. The sewer line has been redrawn and Thomas hopes to have a new price written up on that work.

The PGW project, which involves replacing a line from Pittsburgh Glass Works coming in to the backside of the treatment plant with a bigger pipe, is roughly 70 percent complete. Their deadline for substantial competition is June 22 and final completion July 22. He believes completion will have to be delayed.

“The hardest parts of the project are complete which have involved going through a lot of rock and utilities,” said Thomas. “The progress should go a lot more smoothly.”

Nicole Johnston, YVSA executive director, discussed the pumps at East Wilkes High School in Ronda. Two of the pumps are ready to be replaced with costs estimated at about $10,000.

“The pumps themselves are just going out,” said Johnston. “One of them is really bad, the other one is on its way out. Both are probably going to have to be replaced.”

A motion was made and passed to replace both pumps.

Board member Tommy Casstevens will be leaving the sewer authority soon. Anita Darnell from the Jonesville Town Council has been appointed to serve on the sewer authority and she will be starting her term next fiscal year.

Holcomb also noted that J.L. Lowe has been appointed to an additional three-year term by Elkin for the sewer authority.

No meetings will be held in July. The next scheduled meeting will take place on Aug. 9.

Troy Brooks may be reached at 336-258-4058.

The board adjourns after an hour of discussing the budget and upcoming projects. board adjourns after an hour of discussing the budget and upcoming projects. Troy Brooks | The Tribune

By Troy Brooks

[email protected]

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