Elected Officials Present:
Shirley Groover Bryant, Mayor
Tamara Cornwell, Vice Mayor, Commissioner-at-Large 2
Jonathan Davis, Commissioner-at-Large 1
Harold Smith, Commissioner, Ward 1
Tambra Varnadore, Commissioner, Ward 2
Brian Williams, Commissioner Ward 3
Jim Freeman, City Clerk
Scott Rudacille, Chief Assistant City Attorney
Allen Tusing, Public Works Director
Scott Tyler, Chief of Police
Amber LaRowe, Assistant City Clerk
Mayor Bryant called the meeting to order at 4:30 p.m.
1. SEWER UPDATES
Mr. Tusing gave a presentation regarding the history of sewer in the City. A copy of the presentation is made a part of the minutes. The presentation encompassed the earliest known maps of the 1920ís to include water, sewer and stormwater piping and the 1960ís and 1970ís where the City started to replace piping and install newer piping made with PVC. There are still pipes in the City that are cast iron and clay which are not as solid as PVC is today. With that, the City has been making efforts to continue to replace old piping or repair it/line it as they come across the issues. The City has also continued since the 1980ís to deal with inflow and infiltration (I&I) in the Cityís underground piping system. This will always be an issue; however, the City does itís best to make the I&I more manageable.
Mr. Tusing discussed how the rate study and utility payments from the customers helps to fund the system as far as repairs and maintenance goes. He said sometime there are grant dollars used; however, the bulk comes from the customers utility bills. He highlighted that from 2014 to 2018 the utility dollars helped to fund smoke testing, pipe relining, and more manhole rings and covers. Mr. Tusing made it clear that maintenance will never stop, the City will never be done maintaining the water and sewer system. The equalization basin project is underway and is just another tool to assist with the sewer backup issues that the City experiences in certain locations. He cannot say that it will cease the problem for good; however, he believes that it will make the sewer backup events fewer and less frequent.
Discussion ensued on how to stop the rain infiltration in the sewer system. Mr. Tusing was tasked with obtaining an estimate to complete the I&I program to all piping in the City.
The Commission discussed the use of General Fund dollars to expedite the process of the I&I program. Currently, a little over a million dollars has been placed in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for the continued I&I in the City. Mr. Freeman stated that dollars can be used from the General Fund; however, he has not heard from Mr. Tusing that there is a need for more funding dollars other than what is being collected by the utility bills included in the CIP.
Commissioner Smith expressed his opinions on the funds for the new Police Department being used, instead, for the Cityís sewer and stormwater issues.
Commissioner Cornwell would like to see more information readily available to the residents regarding what they can do to help with this issue from their homes i.e. flushable items, grease, etc.
2. FY 2020 CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PLAN
Due to the time, this item was not discussed and will be carried forward to the October 7th Workshop for discussion.
Mayor Bryant adjourned the meeting at 6:07 p.m.