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Water Authority Requests Grant Funds For Two Upcoming Projects

News Editor

The Dade County Water and Sewer Authority has submitted State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund grant requests for two projects, totaling almost $11 million.

The first request is for Lookout Mountain water main upgrades. The goal of this project is to replace aging small diameter piping that currently experiences frequent breaks and causes restrictions in the hydraulic flow, preventing the distribution system from being able to transport water to the part of the system with the greatest need. The request proposes a New Salem line upgrade and Highway 157 and Highway 189 line upgrade. Total grant funds requested for this project are $10,204,700.

“It will improve flow in the whole entire area, especially since most of the area gets its water from the north at the Covenant College tank,” General Manager Sherri Walker said.

The second request is for a raw water intake screen system. The goal of this project is to eliminate the damage occurring to the raw water intake pumps and to eliminate the potential for losing almost 90 percent of the system’s raw water if both intake pumps shut down with clogging issues. Total grant funds requested for this project are $549,500.

Walker noted that the first request moving from the review process to the decision process. The second request is still in the review process.

Customer David Swinford was at the meeting to discuss a water leak at his property on Piney Road. The leak started out slow for a few months, but for the month of September, Swinford’s water meter reading was for 956,000 gallons of water.

Swinford did not know about the leak and charges until the meter was turned off.

“The water wasn’t spreading around, it was going straight down,” Swinford explained.

Swinford noted that he did have insurance, which covered $1,000 of the costs, and asked if there was any help that the board could provide for the rest of the amount, which is $3,621.82.

“There is no policy for us to forgive that. I appreciate your attitude about this,” Cantrell said. “We need time to research the policy.”

Walker noted that a water leak of this size was unique, and that they can offer Swinford a payment plan for the bill.

The board members agreed to discuss the matter further and be in touch with Swinford.

Walker gave the board updates about ongoing USDA projects.

All water main upgrades have been installed in the Hinkle area, and customer service connections started on Nov. 10.

All water main lines have been installed on Creek Road and Sarah Chapel Road and the connection to the existing system is scheduled for this week.

The meter replacement program is in progress. New meter installations began on Nov. 1. As part of phase one, contractors will compete installation of 567 meters on Lookout Mountain. Phase 2 is the installation of 1,221 meters on Sand Mountain.

Rehabilitation of the water storage tanks are in progress, with the Hooker tank complete, and the Lookout tank in progress.

The Emergency Community Water Assistant Grant project is in progress. The bore under the interstate is complete. Casing spacers are currently being installed on the eight-inch iron line.

Walker said that there have been many supply issues. PVC and copper have been on back order since July. The authority had to borrow 60 feet of pipe from Walker County.

“The big issue, the owner of the meter company and vice president came to meet with me. They were informed that the chip shortage is not the only issue now. The manufacturer of the circuit board inside the meter stopping making the circuit boards. They found another company. We’re not due to get any more meters shipped to us until Oct. 2022,” Walker said.

Elizabeth Zeller presented the financial report. Total income for the month of Oct. was $305,934.15. Total expenses for the month were $369,819.05. 6,577 payments were processed, and 256 work orders were processed. There were 202 line locates, 10 water main leaks were repaired, and 10 taps were installed.

The next Water and Sewer Authority meeting will be Dec. 21.

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