By REBECCA HAZEN
The Dade County Water and Sewer Authority Board of Directors heard from property owners William Back and Chris Thompson about the possibility of putting a water line on Burkhalter Gap Road, during the March 23 meeting.
“It used to be hunting property, but now a lot of people are building homes there. We need to talk about what it would take to run water there,” Back said.
Thompson had originally come to the authority about nine months ago, looking for direction.
“We have since talked to the county, the county attorney, and land owners,” Thompson said.
According to Thompson, a vacation rental development is underway and will hopefully be open by the end of the year.
“There is currently a 20 acre parcel that is adjacent to an additional 40 acres. Myself and other larger investors have identified Lookout Mountain and Dade County in general as a great investment opportunity,” Thompson said.
Thompson continued, “I can identify six today that have expressed interest in development, should a water main be placed there,” Thompson said. “There is tremendous demand. It will require the Water Authority to lead that charge there.”
General Manager Sherri Walker said that just the line placement alone would be about $1 million, which would not include the cost for a pump station, which it would need one.
Thompson noted that they did try to pursue putting in a private water line, but ultimately came to the conclusion that working with the Authority was the only option.
Back noted that he would be willing to ask property owners if they were willing to contribute.
“I think a lot of people would write a check if their property is worth more because they have water,” Back said.
Back noted that he wasn’t sure if the county was legally allowed to be involved financially, but that he could speak to County Executive Ted Rumley about it.
Chairperson Eddie Cantrell told Back and Thompson that they would get together and look over all of the information.
“We will see if there is anything we can do to pursue this further,” Cantrell said.
In other news, Sherri Walker reported that a 2019 Jeep Cherokee was purchased for $24,298. Walker will drive the Jeep Cherokee. The truck that she was originally driving will be used by the Distribution Department.
According to Walker, dates have been set for three USDA projects. Work on water main upgrades will start on April 12. Meter replacements will start on April 5. The pump station rehab on Sand Mountain will start on July 15.
“The old Sand Mountain pump station got hit by lightning about a week and a half ago. It burnt up all the controls and the power line all the way back to the pole. I filed a claim on our insurance for that,” Walker said.
Walker noted that there are two pump stations on Sand Mountain, and when the work starts on July 15 on the one pump station, the older one will have to be up and running in its place.
Elizabeth Zeller presented the financial report. She reported that total revenue for the month of February was $313,693.57. Total expenses were $311,381.
There were 6,246 payments processed and 151 work orders processed. There were 108 line locates, six water main leaks were repaired, and seven taps were installed.
The authority went into an executive session to discuss property matters, but no action was taken afterward.
The next Water and Sewer Authority meeting will be April 27.