Water Commission approves $125 tap fee increase
by Alan Reed
Jul 11, 2007 | 0 0 comments | 0 0 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Barkley Lake Water District Superintendent Terry Goins reported to commissioners that the district loses $52 for every 5/8-inch water line with tap installed. Currently, the district charges $450 as a tap fee. If approved by the USDA’s Rural Development division, the rate will increase to $575.

“I wanted to bring to your attention that we are losing money on our tap fees,” Goins told the commission. “We’re losing about $8,000 annually.”

Goins attributed the loss to the addition of remote read meters, which increased the cost of a tap from $413 to $502. Goins said that he checked with other districts in the area and found an average cost of $575 for a tap fee.

District Secretary Penny Wallace said that to raise the fee, the Public Service Administration could be consulted, and a decision might come in a year’s time, or Rural Development might return a decision in 30 days. Rural Development provides funding for several district improvement projects.

District Engineering Consultant Ricky Oakley said, “The hard part comes from the letter of conditions we agreed to specifying a tap fee of $450. It is not the end of the world. If we decide we want to increase the tap fee, we can talk with (Rural Development Representative) Jerry Cloyd and he can help us figure out the right person to talk to.”

Goins said, “It is not really fair (to an existing customer) who paid the full amount of a tap, and (a new customer) gets it for less. We have to charge customers more to make up for that loss” He recommended the commission adopt the area average. “It gives us a $73 buffer to adjust for inflation and increased costs.”

The commission agreed to raise the tap fee to $575. Rural Development must approve the increase before it takes effect.

The commission discussed moving the out-of-service elevated water tank along South Road to an area near Cerulean. Goins said that a company offered to move the tank for $150,000 or to buy it for scrap for a cost of $1.

The tank has a capacity to hold 50,000 gallons. Oakley said that if moved, the tank could provide additional water pressure to the northeastern end of Trigg County, though increased demand for wholesale water from Christian County might require a larger tank. If the existing McUpton pumping station had the power to fill the tank, pumps in Cerulean could be deactivated.

For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.
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