November 17, 2014

The JCWSA Board met last Tuesday evening (11/11/14). On the agenda was the item “Engineers Report-Update on contracting with the County to handle administrative operations.”

During this part of the meeting Frank Sherrill, JCWSA engineer and now their liaison, discussed a lease-purchase for new meters rather than trying to get the county to sign on a note along with JCWSA for the meters.  Watch video here:

Mr. Sherrill told the authority members that he gave the same presentation to the BOC on October 15th as he gave to them (JCWSA) on October 14th. He said the proposal was now tabled by the BOC and the BOC was gathering more information. Read presentation information here.

JCWSA has been talking about going to GEFA to get a loan for purchasing new meters. According to Mr. Sherrill, GEFA requires endorsement from either the city or the county. Since the BOC tabled the JCWSA proposal on 11/3/14, Mr. Sherrill did some further research and said he had found that, “We can go out on our own and do a lease purchase–not go through GEFA–and we don’t need to get the county to endorse it.” Sherrill said they need to replace meters because they are old and there are failures in the radio-read heads. He also said meters slow down as they get older. Installation costs would be included in the price of the lease purchase as would the reading equipment and the software. By going this route JCWSA would be staying with the same family of meters.

Members expressed their liking to this proposal. One member said, “That is a sweet deal,” and Mr. Sherrill agreed. They could replace 240 meters at a cost of about $80,000. The lease-purchase cost would be slightly higher than the GEFA loan, but JCWSA was sure they could manage the costs as they will have one of their notes paid off in 2017. This lease-purchase would be for 10 years, the same length of time as the proposed GEFA loan, with no backing from the county taxpayers being necessary.

Sherrill said there would be a no bidding process by doing a lease purchase. He also said, “We can do this in 2-3 months. We are paying a premium to go out and read and re-read meters now. This will save us money.” All authority members agreed, and Mr. Sherrill said he will have proposals for them to consider in December.

Sherrill did mention the injunction filed at the JCWSA meeting and said they were waiting for the results. Late Friday afternoon we got a notice from the judge’s office that the order for dismissal had been signed.

We certainly hope the JCWSA will use this lease purchase as a viable alternative to fund their new meters, thereby standing on their own, rather than using the county taxpayer once again as their crutch.


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