Failed negotiation leads to flat rate for Center Water customers

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 23, 2016

Customers in the certificated area of Center Water Association will now be billed a flat rate for wastewater treatment by the Pearl River County Utility Authority.
Utility Authority Executive Director Ray Scott said the decision to move those customers to a flat rate was approved during Thursday’s meeting in light of failed negotiations with Center Water Association.
At last month’s meeting, the PRC Utility Authority Board of Trustees made a motion to reenter into a contract to pay Center Water Association $1.50 per customer to gain access to water usage figures, which would be used to bill customers for actual wastewater treatment services. Scott said that Center Water Association’s counter proposal was not accepted by the Board because they requested too much of an increase.
“They wanted to collect more than we were willing to pay so we will do our billing internally now,” Scott said.
That means all customers in that certificated area who receive wastewater treatment services from the Utility Authority will pay a flat rate of $35.75 per month.
In another matter, repairs to leaks found in the wastewater treatment system in Picayune during smoke testing are being conducted. The smoke testing was conducted as part of the wastewater rehabilitation project to identify areas where leaks are occurring. Scott said about 100 or more leaks were discovered in just the first basin tested. Results from a second basin are expected soon.
The Board also heard from Scott about an update to the staff. Debbie Bounds has stepped down from her position with the Utility Authority, and will be replaced with Brenda DeArmas. Scott said interviews are being held to find a replacement for DeArmas’ former position.
The next meeting of the Board will be at 2 p.m. Aug. 18 in the boardroom of the Picayune wastewater treatment plant on Neal Road.

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