Called Meeting Date: July 11, 2012 ~ 1:00 P.M.
Nancy Martin, Buzz Ahrens, Steven Woodruff, Eric Wilmarth, Chris Wilbanks, Mike Byrd, Robert Morrison, Tom Heard, David Kubala, Tom Roach, Wesley Banks, Dwight Turner, Dan Carson, Beth Williams, Clint Blackwell, Mike Venters, Dwayne Fowler, Randy Mitchell, Rick Dobbs, Ron Banks, Mayor Gene Hobgood, Hooky Huffman, John Beresford, Jack Goodwin, Glen Cummins, Bob Rush, Bobby Dyer, Scott Wood, Glenn Page, Kristal Dixon, and Janet Pelletier.
Nancy Martin, Chair, called the meeting to order.
1. AN INVOCATION WAS GIVEN BY NANCY MARTIN, FOLLOWED BY THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.
2. NANCY MARTIN NOTED THAT THE PURPOSE OF THE MEETING WAS FOR DISCUSSION BETWEEN THE CCWSA BOARD OF DIRECTORS AND THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF CANTON REGARDING WATER AND SEWER RELATED ISSUES.
TOM HEARD NOTED THAT, AT THE 8/29/11 BOARD MEETING, THE CCWSA BOARD HAD APPROVED A PROPOSED MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN THE CITY OF CANTON, COBB COUNTY-MARIETTA WATER AUTHORITY, AND THE CCWSA. The details of this MOU are as follows:
1. Cobb-Marietta would pay Canton an amount equal to the total paid by Canton on its bonds for the Hickory Log Creek Reservoir.
2. Cobb-Marietta would assume the remaining bonded indebtedness owed by Canton for the reservoir.
3. Canton would relinquish 5.25 million gallons per day of the reservoir capacity to Cobb-Marietta. The remaining 6 million gallons per day of Canton’s current capacity would be transferred to CCWSA to be held and used for the City of Canton’s future water supply needs.
4. The agreement between Cobb-Marietta and Canton as to the joint operation of the reservoir would terminate, so that Cobb-Marietta would have full decision-making authority over the reservoir and Canton would no longer have any responsibility for the expenses of the reservoir
5. The reservoir would remain available for recreational use by the public, as provided in the Reservoir Management Plan
6. Canton would transfer its water and sewer treatment plants to CCWSA, and CCWSA would assume responsibility for operating and maintaining the plants. CCWSA would not be required to keep the plants operational and would have the sole discretion to decommission the plants.
7. CCWSA would sell water to Canton at its wholesale rates.
8. CCWSA would provide sewage treatment to Canton at its wholesale rates.
9. Canton would remain responsible for operation and maintenance of the water distribution system, including customer service and billing/collection of customer accounts.
10. Canton would remain responsible for the sewer collection system, including customer service and billing/collection of customer accounts.
11. All agreements between Canton and CCWSA regarding water and sewer would terminate and be superseded by the final agreement contemplated by this MOU.
Mayor Gene Hobgood of the City of Canton noted that both CCWSA and the City of Canton had supported and approved this MOU; however, Cobb-Marietta did not.
Tom Heard presented a Power Point presentation of the proposed consolidation of systems (ATTACHED). The attached presentation outlines the components of Canton water and sewer utilities, the possible restructuring of Canton’s water and wastewater utilities, and sets forth the responsibilities of the City of Canton, CCWSA, and Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority if consolidation were to occur.
The components of Canton water and sewer utilities are as follows:
1. Hickory Log Creek Reservoir; 45 MGD yield; Canton share is 11.25 MGD (Note: Cobb-Marietta indicates that EPD may reduce reservoir yield to 33 MGD. This total is based on past drought and Etowah River flow levels. If this reduction in yield occurs, Canton’s share would be reduced to 8.25 MGD.
2. Canton Wastewater Plant; operating at 2 MGD; permitted for 4 MGD
3. Canton Distribution and Collection Systems
4. Canton Water Plant; operating at 3.5 MGD; permitted for 5.45 MGD withdrawal
Tom Heard presented the following possible restructuring of Canton’s water and wastewater utilities:
1. CCWSA would gain approximately 6 MGD of reservoir capacity and would have no vote or responsibility on reservoir operations. The CCWSA would decommission or operate Canton’s existing water and wastewater treatment plants.
2. Canton would maintain its current collection system and distribution system and would handle customer service, billing, and system O & M for each.
3. Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority would have full ownership and operational responsibility for the Hickory Log Creek Reservoir. CCMWA would assume potentially $28,090,000.00 of Canton’s debt for their share of the reservoir.
Under this proposed consolidation of systems, Canton’s main issues for necessitating a rate increase would be as follows:
1. Reservoir debt = potentially $28,090,00.00
2. Wastewater Plant Rehab = $5,400,000.00
3. New Water Plant= $27,300,000.00
Possible solutions are that debt can be alleviated if CCWSA takes ownership of treatment plants and provides water and sewer capacity to Canton, and Cobb-Marietta takes full ownership of the reservoir and assumes Canton’s reservoir debt.
This proposed consolidation of systems also sets forth that Canton loses $55,390,000.00 in debt/required expenditures on treatment plants, but retains debt of $9,200,000.00 on water and wastewater plants, plus additional payment of $5,400,000.00 to CCWSA for consent order repair/upgrade of Canton WTP.
Canton would keep its water and sewer customers whereby:
1. Canton determines its own water and sewer rates
2. Rates for Canton water or wastewater capacity sold to other independent systems (Waleska, Ball Ground) would be negotiated with CCWSA
CCWSA would supply Canton wholesale water under the following guidelines:
1. Canton’s reserved capacity based on existing average demand of 5.45 MGD
2. Canton can reserve additional capacity for $2.00 per gallon per current CCWSA Capacity Policy
3. Current CCWSA wholesale water rate is $2.25/K gallons
CCWSA would supply Canton wholesale wastewater treatment under the following guidelines:
1. Canton’s reserved capacity based on existing average demand of 2 MGD
2. Canton pays $5,400,000.00 to CCWSA, after which Canton’s reserved capacity would be 4 MGD
3. Canton can reserve additional capacity for $10.00 per gallon per current CCWSA Capacity Policy
4. Placeholder wholesale wastewater rate is $3.93/K gallons (this is what Canton charges)
Under this proposed consolidation of systems, Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority would take total ownership and operational responsibility of the Hickory Log Creek Reservoir and would assume Canton’s potential reservoir debt of $28,090,000.00. Cobb County-Marietta Water Authority would allow CCWSA to retain 6 MGD of reservoir capacity yield for future use. CCMWA would gain 5.25 MGD of additional reservoir capacity (11.25 MGD Canton share minus 6 MGD to CCWSA = 5.25 MGD capacity).
Under this proposed consolidation of systems, CCWSA would gain 11.45 MGD water capacity and would gain sewer discharge and 2 MGD of wastewater capacity upgraded to 4 MGD based upon consent order repairs. Canton’s wastewater loading allocations are expandable to 8 MGD total. When combined with CCWSA proposed 8 MGD West capacity transfer from Pilgrims Pride, it yields a total capacity of 16 MGD for the Canton and NW Cherokee area. CCWSA would take on up to $5,400,000.00 for WWP consent order upgrade, based upon Canton payment. CCWSA would gain additional wholesale water sales.
Mayor Hobgood questioned if there was still interest from CCWSA in obtaining capacity in Canton’s reservoir, and questioned if Canton and CCWSA could work together since Cobb-Marietta did not support the MOU.
Mayor Hobgood noted that Canton’s financial position has improved; however, Canton would like to be relieved of some of its debt. Mayor Hobgood also noted that he feels this is the time for Canton and CCWSA to work together on an arrangement that would be mutually beneficial to both parties.
Discussion occurred regarding City of Canton’s debt, their participation in various projects, capacity issues, and consent order status.
Tom Heard noted that from a CCWSA staff standpoint, CCWSA would like to see the implementation of a long-range plan by the City of Canton with fixed cost numbers included on this plan. Mr. Heard noted that the Authority annually reviews and adopts a long-range CIP program, and feels that a program similar to this would be beneficial to the City of Canton. Mr. Heard cautioned that CCWSA customers should not bear the cost of subsidizing Canton customers.
Mayor Hobgood questioned if CCWSA would consider acquiring the reservoir for approximately $27 million, which is the approximate amount that the City of Canton paid for it. Nancy Martin noted that she would be opposed to this offer.
Mayor Hobgood then questioned if CCWSA would consider assuming Canton’s $21 million reservoir debt and acquire the reservoir. Mayor Hobgood noted that if Canton was relieved of its reservoir debt, Canton would then be in a position to concentrate on other projects. Mayor Hobgood then questioned if CCWSA would consider acquiring the remainder of the Canton system (distribution, collections system, plants, etc.) at a cost of $9.2 million.
Canton City Council members stated that they would like for the Authority to assist the City of Canton in development of a long-range plan.
Discussion occurred concerning a potential evaluation of the Canton system.
MOTION BY ROBERT MORRISON AND SECOND BY MIKE BYRD TO RELEASE CCWSA STAFF TO COORDINATE WITH THE CITY OF CANTON TO DO ANY AND ALL THINGS POSSIBLE IN ORDER TO BRING A SCOPE OF WORK BACK TO THE AUTHORITY BOARD FOR REVIEW. All members voted for the motion.
3. MOTION BY BUZZ AHRENS AND SECOND BY CHRIS WILBANKS TO ADJOURN. All members voted for the motion.