I would like to thank Mr. C.K. Stevenson for his comments regarding the efforts of our committee to reduce the water rates of the NSSWSC.
In fact, after reading Mr. Stevenson's letter, I reviewed my numbers and discovered that there was an omission. On the Income Statement (NSSWSC) there is an entry labeled "Bookkeeping & Professional" with an amount of $26,113.30 of which $13,200 was for the operator to do certain maintenance procedures. This $13,200 raised the cost of maintenance to $124,937 for 2008, which is $6,425 more than the $118,512 maintenance cost for the somewhat larger Richland SUD. This system can hardly afford to spend $124,937 for maintenance and still suffer a water loss of about 50%.
As for the use of schedule 200 PVC pipe in the original installation, I do not find such a product in my literature. Perhaps Mr. Stevenson recalls what the current bedding procedures are and how deep the pipe is being buried. For quite a number of years, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) has had a rule (290.44(a)(4)) which states that "in no case shall the top of waterline be less than 24" below ground surface." There are locations where the waterlines installed in the Pecan Grove area in 2008 are only 8" to 12" below the ground surface.
At the meeting held on the evening of February 17, the NSSWSC maintenance cost (since revised as shown above,) was compared to that of the Richland SUD. Mr. Stevenson states that I failed to mention that $32,628.10 of those costs for NSSWSC were for installation and replacement of pipe to the system. Maybe Mr. Stevenson does not realize that the RSUD has expenditures for the same type of work included in their numbers. So, we are comparing apples and apples. Mr. Stevenson also points out that RSUD has equipment and maintenance costs, and NSSWSC has none of that because the operator totally covers the cost. I can assure Mr. Stevenson that with the operator (contractor) having been compensated $105,155.75 to do maintenance alone for the year of 2008, we have paid dearly for that item, and a few others. As for his comment of the operator doing the job for the same price as 12 years ago, I do not understand. The operator was compensated to do maintenance in the amount of $52,837.96 in 2006, $66,680.05 in 2007 and $105,155.75 in 2008. Looks like a pretty hefty increase each year.
The NSSWSC has two very significant problems, maintenance cost and water loss. As was pointed out at the February 17 meeting, by having an employee operator and owning the necessary equipment, maintenance cost could be reduced by about 50%. This includes all equipment maintenance, fuel, parts, and loan payments. This setup is modeled after the RSUD.
By reducing the 50% water loss to 15%, the Corporation can save about $24,000 per year. One way to help control loss is to minimize the time water is allowed to flow before repairs are made. Also, care needs to be taken with each repair to avoid having to return to the site and repeat the repair.
Last fall, we suggested that the meters be read each month. We were told that would not be done. Two months later the engineer recommended that the meters be read each month. Meters were read in January and this resulted in accounting for 1,195,060 gallons of water and $5,987.74 in revenue.
I couldn't help but notice that Mr. Stevenson didn't address water quality in his comments.
It has never been my intention to obtain a place on the board. I intend to stay on this committee and assist the board in anyway I can. There have been several changes for the better in recent months but much remains to be done. I do believe that the water rates can be lowered.
Letter to the Editor,
It is hard to imagine a world without heroes. At the American Red Cross, we work with heroes everyday. They are the backbone of every hometown and represent the essence of our organization. Heroes touch our lives each day – making us feel safe, making us feel proud.
For the next four weeks, numerous heroes in Brown, Mills, McCullough and San Saba Counties will be embarking on what seems like a monumental task - raising $1000 each to benefit the life-saving work of the Pecan Valley Chapter of the Red Cross. Their hard work and humanitarian spirit will enable our chapter to continue to provide warmth and comfort to disaster victims, transmit important messages to our military members serving overseas and help us train our community to prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. They will truly be Heroes for the American Red Cross.
Our Heroes are incredibly inventive in the ways they choose to raise money. You will see them hosting raffles, boot drives, bake sales and car washes as well as selling our Red Cross t-shirts, among other things. If you come into contact with a Hero in the coming weeks, please thank them for their commitment to our community and be as generous as you can in support of the work of the Red Cross.
We could not keep our promise to help our neighbors without your precious gifts of time, money and blood. Please support our Heroes for the American Red Cross this March.
Marsha Hardy – San Saba Co Chair
Missi Malone, Executive Director