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C/AC Utilities, bonding company plan speedy project restart
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By Ed Waggener
The Columbia/Adair Utilities District (CAUD) board of trustees had good news last night, Thursday, March 14, 2013 , that the Downtown Project should be back schedule shortly, when details of settlement with the bonding company are completed; and two, that the utility is in excellent financial condition, with over Assets exceeding Liabilities by $22,336,410 and a very healthy cash position, as well.
The Downtown Project is part of the decades old catchup work needed to bring the City of Columbia water system up to modern standards. Work on new waterlines in the Young Street, Russell Road, and Frazier Avenue was halted, approximately 60% done, when Southern Backhoe of Campbellsville, KY, pulled its equipment and abandoned the project. Much of their work is already in use. Last night, the representatives of the surety firm met with the CAUD board, to outline settlement options. Basically, the bonding company would like to settle with a lump sum payment or, as a second choice, hire a new contractor to complete it. Work could resume within a few weeks, depending on the settlement option. General Manager Lenny Stone said that as far as he could foretell, under reasonably good circumstances the work might now be expected to be complete as soon as 4 months.
On balance, the project is likely no more costly because of the delay. The delay has made many landowners unhappy, and Mr. Stone said that is very understandable, and that the utility will do all it can to get the project and clean-up completed as soon as possible. The board and the bonding company will be Thursday, March 21, 2013, at 6pmCT, at the CAUD offices, 109 Grant Lane, Columbia, KY, negotiate in earnest.
Shirley Buckner gives audit report
Shirley Buckner of the accounting firm Wise, Buckner, and Sprowles gave the 2012 Audit report.
Most importantly, the audit show that the utility has assets of over $37 million dollars, liabilities of $14.7 million and a margin of $22,336,410 of assets over liablities. With only a bit over 1/3 debt to assets, the utility is far from a level of "concern" which she said would happen if there were to be 1/1 debt/asset ratio.
East 80 area Tank bid approved
The Board voted 5-1 to accept the Caldwell Tank company bid to build the a new elevated tank off East 80 near the Russell County line. The vote, on a motion by Rudy Higginbotham, seconded by Barry Stotts, was 5-0.
Review of Phase 16 project
The board reviewed its Phase 16 project, which contains both maintenance and capital improvements, including mostly sewer projects and water tank maintenance. Extremely favorable funding, with approximately 2/3 an outright grant, completed with a 1.875%, 40 year loan, would pay for new lift stations, a new belt press for the sewer plant, and water tower inspections. No action was taken at last night's meeting.
The project includes 5 new lift stations for the sewer system, including one for the Green River Commerce Park.
Creek Bank Project
The Russell Creek bank flood project is one step closer to happening. Surveys have been completed which would help predict flood levels along the valley. A public hearing will be set before the project is let. The need for the project was seen when the May 2010 flood waters breached a dike and sent waters into Columbia Sewer plant. The Utility has a $600,000 Community Development Block Grant approved to pay for the project and to stop a slide on the north side of the sewer plant campus.
Chairman Robert Flowers presided, with all members, Rudy Higginbotham, Tim Baker, David Jones, and Barry Stotts present. Also present were County Judge Executive Ann Melton; Shirley Buckner of the Accounting firm Wise Buckner and Sprowles of Campbellsville, KY; David Bowles, consulting engineer; Lenny Stone, General Manager; Board Attorney Marshall Loy; Office Manager Jennifer Carter, and representatives of the surety company representing Southern Backhoe.
The Board of the Columbia/Adair Utilities District meets at 6pmCT, each second Thursday at 209 Grant Street, Columbia, KY.
This story was posted on 2013-03-15 09:19:45
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