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City water customers get flushed to county
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McMinnville is saying farewell to 101 water customers and hello to $101,000.
The measure to transfer those customers from the city’s Water Department to Warren County Utility District passed unanimously by Mayor Jimmy Haley, Vice Mayor Ben Newman, and Aldermen Ryle Chastain, Mike Neal, and Steve Harvey. Alderman Everett Brock was absent and Alderman Jimmy Bonner temporarily left the room and missed the vote.
“How did we come up with $1,000 per active customer,” said Neal. “How do we know that’s a fair market value per meter? I was asked that question so I wanted to bring it up.”
Water Department director Anthony Pelham says that amount was the offer from Utility District manager Mike Green and in his opinion, it’s a good offer.
“I’ve personally worked on other customer purchasing transactions between different utilities before and that price has normally been in the $700 to $800 range,” he said. “This was the offer made and I thought it was a very fair price, based upon the age, the number of customers, and the amount of assets involved.”
On the day before Christmas, a city water line in Charles Creek burst leaving those 101 customers without water until the next day. Because the break could not be fixed in a timely manner, the city asked assistance from the neighboring water department. Warren County Utility District provided water to those customers for approximately two days.
In relinquishing those customers, the city avoids having to pay $78,000 to repair the water line, $15,000 for a project on Rolling Hills 3rd Avenue, and $4,000 to WCUD for its assistance in supply Rolling Hills with water until the city could place a temporary line.
Being a resolution, only one passing read is required.