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FPU will consider sewer in Parks City

Posted on Thursday, November 1, 2012 at 5:51 pm

Fayetteville Public Utilities will help county officials pursue grant funding for a sewer system in the Parks City area; however, FPU officials noted, filing the grant application does not obligate FPU to provide funds or even agree to participate in the project.

“We are not obligated to do anything as far as money or funds,” Britt Dye, FPU’s CEO and general manager, told board members during a meeting last week.

According to Dye, FPU must be a co-applicant on the federal grant application since they would be required to maintain the infrastructure if they eventually agree to participate in the sewer project.

Dye told board members that Whitney Stevens, the board’s attorney, advised he saw no reason why FPU should not execute the agreement.

“It’s really just in the crawling steps on that project,” Dye told board members of the proposed sewer project, which was first pitched to the Lincoln County Board of Public Utilities which then voted not to move forward with building the proposed system in Parks City.

According to a study by CTI Engineering, the construction costs for the initial phase of the infrastructure is estimated at $4.2 million. Using predominately low-pressure sewers for collection, the sewage would be pumped to FPU’s Wastewater Plant should FPU decide to move forward with the plan.

Numerous hurdles would have to be crossed before FPU commits to the project, Dye told board members, including approval of an operations and maintenance agreement.

“There are a whole lot of other things that have to be looked before we’re in business,” Dye said.

Economic development along the US 231/431 corridor is one of the primary drivers for wastewater collection facilities within the southern Lincoln County study area

In other business during last week’s meeting, the board announced the results of its evaluation of the CEO/general manager. Dye scored a 4.8 out of 5.0 on the evaluation.

“I think it has been an excellent year,” Dr. Janine Wilson, chairman of the FPU board, said in announcing the final evaluation score. “Britt’s presence in the community is very much appreciated … and the board has shown its confidence in him.

“We’re proud of all the things FPU has done for the community,” Wilson added. “Many good things have happened for FPU this year. This performance evaluation is a reflection on the whole organization, as well as Mr. Dye.”

“We’ve got a lot of good employees,” Dye told the board. “It makes it easier for me.”

During last week’s meeting, the board took action to change the timeline for annual evaluation and contract renewal considerations. In the past, contract renewal had been considered prior to budget planning time early in year, while the CEO’s evaluation was not conducted until each October to coincide with Dye’s hiring.

“That’s totally backwards,” said Wilson, recommending that the annual evaluation take place prior to consideration of contract renewal each year. “This will put us on a business model that makes more sense”

The board voted unanimously to make that change. That action does not change any of the terms of the board’s contract with Dye, the chairman said.