Lincoln County Board of Public Utilities’ officials approved a contract to purchase water from Fayetteville Public Utilities during their January meeting.
The contract has been the focus of discussion for the board over the last several meetings as officials worked to resolve concerns and fine tune the document. According to discussion in previous meetings, LCBPU purchases water from FPU in order to supply Mulberry, Belleville and Wells Hill areas, and the contract sets the rates that will be charged, as well as the terms of the arrangement.
LCBPU is seeking State approval for a project that would raise the Skinem tank by 15 feet. If approved, work may begin around March.
The existing tank will need painting on the interior and some paint work on the exterior, officials said, noting that longer legs will also be added to raise the tank.
LCBPU workers are currently completing meter replacements in the Flintville area, where crews have already replaced more than 600 old water meters with new automated smart meters, digital meters that can be controlled by the utility through a secure wireless network.
“We will be doing about 440 meters in the area north of Flintville between Corders Crossroads and Bear Wallow Roads,” said Chris Merz, system superintendent, after the meeting. Merz said 1,450 old meters, which had been declared surplus last month, have been sold for $6,300.
The meter replacements are part of the utility’s ongoing Automated Metering Infrastructure (AMI) Project, funded through the State Revolving Loan Fund. The total $2.216 million project includes a revolving loan of about $991,450, which LCBPU will have to pay back at an interest rate of under one percent, and another $1.225 million in forgiveness or grant funding.
Merz stated that the overall water losses for November were about 39 percent, compared to 34 percent in October. Water losses in the Chestnut Ridge, Blanche and Mulberry areas were the highest.
Total leak adjustments for the system through December amounted to $4,357. Merz noted that leaks are generally a combination of service lines and mains. “A service line leak can be pretty bad in areas where pressure is high,” Merz said.