Town Manager Johnson explained that the
purpose of the workshop was to discuss utilities in general
including the growth and capacities, and the structure
Town Manager Johnson stated that the new Sewer Treatment
Plant was in great working capacity except for some equipment
problems with the blowers. Town Manager Johnson stated
that the town was negotiating with the company which made
the blowers to replace them at one half of the cost. Informed
the Council that the work involved with the Inflow and
Infiltration Grant should begin with a couple of weeks.
Stated that Engineers (McKim and Creed)
were applying for a grant for Beaufort County Water District
V for sewer services and have had contacted the town on
numerous occasions to inquire if the town would be willing
to supply the sewer. Town Manager Johnson stated that
the area would involve an additional 200 homes from Slade
Road, Swindell Road, Daw Road, Wilkinson Station Road
and Swamp Road on sewer. Town Manager Johnson stated that
the town would gladly supply sewer to these customers
and the added sewer would not hinder the town=s capacity.
The grant being applied for is a $6.5 - $7 million project
with a 10% match for Beaufort County. Town Manager Johnson
stated the potential problems could development with the
town=s engineers and the county=s handling the connections,
as each firm would blame the other for any problems. Town
Manager Johnson stated that he needed to respond to a
letter to McKim & Creed concerning the possible sewer
connection and asked for the council=s consensus to forward
a letter with stipulations such as utilizing the town=s
engineers, etc. The Council agreed.
Water Plant Project
Town Manager Johnson briefed the Council on the construction
of the new Water Plant Facility. The only problem arising,
so far, has been the contractor performing the line work;
contractor has been warned of problems; saved $160,000
- $170,000 by using part of the old water main instead
Town Manager Johnson gave all Council members a copy of
the Electric Retail Rate Study as compiled by ElectriCities.
Town Manager Johnson briefly reviewed the study. Town
Manager Johnson explained that the town=s small commercial
rate was the least competitive rate, while the residential
rate was comparable. There was much discussion concerning
the electric rates overall. Town Manager Johnson stated
that property taxes could be increased by 100% to make
up the difference and no electric rate increases. Several
factors which would keep the electric rate increases at
a minimum would be to eliminate load management unless
customer is willing to go to 50%; continue load management
and running generators with peak uses (larger businesses).
There was much discussion from the Council as to when
the town's electric system could be more comparable (rates).
Town Manager Johnson explained that in 2008 the Town of
Belhaven will have paid off its long term debt for electricity
which was entered into in the early 1970's when the town
chose to remain with the power agency. Town Manager Johnson
explained that growth in the town would keep the rates
more comparative with other areas. Town Manager Johnson
stated that the town suffered a big loss when the public
schools relocated out of town.
left the meeting at 6:15 P.M. In closing the consensus
of the Council was to make small commercial rates more
competitive. Town Manager Johnson stated that without
cutting the town's, already tight, budget there would
be an electric rate increase in January 2003 but small
commercial rates would be made more competitive.
There being no further business, the meeting
adjourned at 6:45 P.M.