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Water & Sewer Authority Discusses Need to Filter Debris

News Editor

Due to efficient pumps at the main raw water intake station, large amounts of debris are also being pulled in, causing the pumps to wear out quickly. Sherri Walker (general manager for the authority) addressed this issue at the Dec. 20 Water & Sewer Authority Board of Directors Meeting.

“We put two new pumps in there as part of this USDA project,” Walker explained. “We’re having to have about $13,000 worth of work done to one of the pumps that hasn’t even been in for two years. The pumps are pulling more water in, which also pulls more debris in.”

Walker then explained that the solution is a screen system, costing $1.87 million. “If we don’t do this, we’ll be replacing those pumps on a regular basis.”

Walker asked that the board take this before the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) in January. “The payments are virtually the same as the one we have now. It’s basically swapping the loan out. I’ve talked to Ted. He’s on the GEFA board. He can get it before the board in January.”

Walker noted that several employees have worked through the night in recent months to keep debris cleared and water flowing. “With the issues we’re having at the pump station, we have to do something. This has been a problem for many years, and it’s exacerbated now because of the increased pumping.”

Chairperson Eddie Cantrell added, “Sherri and I met with a representative of our senator and got nowhere with that. We’re trying to look at both political parties. It’s not really a political issue; it’s a need we have as a small county, but we don’t see any help coming in the future.”

Walked added that they have included the issue on two separate grant requests.

Also during this meeting, the board heard the 2022 audit report (covering the fiscal year, from July through June) from Julie Klotz, a partner with JHM Certified Public Accountants.

Klotz reported that the authority’s total assets were around $14.6 million, up from the previous year’s $2.8 million. “That main increase is due to your capital asset additions and CIP projects and the ones that have been completed,” Klotz commented.

The total liabilities were $8.3 million, up by $3.5 million from 2021. “That’s all due to the increase of no payables,” said Klotz.

The net position (or accumulated earning) was up by $486,000 from last year, and operating revenues were up around $232,000, while operating expenses only increased by about $11,000. “That resulted in operating income for the year of around $605,000, which is what the authority’s performance main indicator is for the year.”

Klotz explained, “The increase is due primarily to a full year of the rate increase. Last year only had a couple months [at that rate], but this year had a full year.”

The audit also noted the intergovernmental agreement that the authority had made with the county to purchase the Sells property. The audit noted that the county will be exchanging the remaining balance on the GEFA loan.

Klotz then explained that an additional single audit was completed this year. “With all that federal money you guys were receiving with the loan, we did have to do an extra audit.”

The two findings from this audit were minor and would not cause issues. “The first finding refers to the segregation of duties due to the limited staff,” said Klotz. “Sherri, Elizabeth, and everyone here has separated tasks as much as possible. Unfortunately, some functions are still touched by the same person.”

The second finding regarded net position accounts. “Almost all of my small clients are going to have this one. This is a normal thing.”

Cantrell motioned to accept the report, and the board voted in favor.

The next meeting will be Jan. 24, 2023 at 6:30 p.m.


  1. Tom McMahan on December 31, 2022 at 6:06 pm

    I have a couple of questions:
    1) The article seems to begin in the middle of a sentence of paragraph. Was there something else before that opening sentence?
    2) The “senator” that was referenced…was that outgoing Senator Mullis or incoming Senator-Elect Moore?
    3) Is this something that money from the federal government can be used for, or does it have to come from the state government?

    Thank you in advance.

    Tom McMahan

    • Editor on January 3, 2023 at 8:48 am

      Hello Tom,
      1. There was nothing before the first sentence. Now that I’m reading it again, I perhaps should have used a different opening sentence, so I apologize.
      2. Mr. Cantrell did not specify which senator.
      3. I do not know if federal funds can be used, but from the meeting, it seemed like state funding was the best route to pursue. Sherri ( would likely be happy to answer your question.
      – Lydia, News Editor

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