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April 16, 2014

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Water utility merger complete

Water utility service areas, including the Striggersville area now incorporated into Rogersville's area, are shown.
Published: 11:54 AM, 09/14/2012 Last updated: 12:00 PM, 09/14/2012

Source: The Rogersville Review

By Bill Grubb
News Editor

ROGERSVILLE - The Striggersville Utility District has gone the way of dinosaurs and the Dodo bird.
    Rogersville Water Superintendent Shaun Hatchett reported Monday the utility district is officially now part of the Rogersville water system.
    A public hearing on the union was held August 23 in the old courtroom at the county's Administration Building, a required step before County Mayor Melville Bailey could sign-off on the plan.
    The merger dissolved the smaller utility, which covered a 4.2 mile square area and served approximately 520 customers, and made it part of the Rogersville system, which, before the merger, had a 44.6 square mile territory and 4,280 customers.
    Rogersville City Attorney Bill Phillips explained that the merger was agreed to by the leaders of both utilities and would help the smaller water system and customers by providing employees to maintain the system, rather than hiring someone to address the problems as they arise.
    Imogene Trent, a member of the Striggersville board, identified the system's water loss ratio as one of the problems that the state is demanding the small system address.
    "We spent $20,000 last month on water (from Rogersville) but we are losing about 41 percent." Trent said.
    "Basically, as far as I'm concerned it's a done deal," Striggersville Board Chairman Claude Parrott said at the hearing.
    Although he did not approve the merger at the hearing, Bailey said that he will approve the merger, with Hatchett reporting that the county mayor signed the paperwork that afternoon.
    The former Striggersville system revenue and expenses will be "coded" but are all part of the Rogersville system.
    In other business, Hatchett said the water system ran a deficit in August, but he also said that could be attributed to several non-recurring expenditures.
    The system received $232,462 in revenues and $240,000 in expenditures.
    Hatchett noted the system spent $9,680 purchasing chemicals for the water treatment plant that will actually last several months.  The utility also spent $7,500 for the audit expenses and $4,550 for engineering expenses for two different projects.  The utility also had to pay $12,000 in interest for a bond payment.
    "When you take those expenses off that puts us to the good about $24,000 to $25,000," he explained.     "Overall for the first two months we still have a $32,415 profit."
    Hatchett also said the water system is moving forward with the purchase of a used water filtration system, with the down payment of $25,000 to be sent by certified check.
     According to Hatchett, the used system from an Ohio utility will cost Rogersville $100,000. In comparison, a new filtration system would cost $1.35 million, he added.
    Community Development Block Grant funds will help erect a building to house the MIEX filtering system, with Hatchett noting buying the used system means "we won't have to borrow any money to do this project."
    The used equipment is a surface water system and is not compatible with the Ohio utility's new plant.  Hatchett also said officials in Ohio said the system "performed perfectly" and took care of water quality problems similar to those encountered by the Rogersville system on previous occasions.
    "We're going up there September 30 and start the tear down on October 1," he said.  "We should have it all taken care of and be on the way back by that Wednesday."

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