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Town’s sewer fund just about down the drain

It hasn’t been long since drought was threatening to dry up Pepper’s Ferry Regional Wastewater Treatment Authority’s revenue stream.
Now, the Town of Pulaski is watching its sewer fund almost literally wash down the drain.
“It’s no surprise to anyone that we’ve had some very high flows (into the wastewater treatment plant) lately,” Pulaski Town Manager John Hawley told members of town council Tuesday night. He said recent melting snow and rain has caused the town’s normal flow of 40 to 45 million gallons per month to increase to 84 and 96 million gallons per month over the past two months.
Essentially, that is the equivalent of being billed for two additional months this fiscal year, so the town is paying for 14 months of service with funds allocated to cover 12 months worth of service. And the fiscal year doesn’t end until June 30.
As a result, Hawley said Pulaski is facing a potential shortfall of $195,578 in its sewer fund for this fiscal year. “That’s if the last four months are average (flows); and that’s a slim chance,” he added.
Hawley said the amount of the shortfall could be transferred to the sewer fund from the general fund, but that would then leave the general fund with a $92,000 shortfall.
The fact two town police officers are on active duty in Iraq and the town isn’t paying their salaries will help to relieve the budget shortfall, Hawley said. However, that will not cover the entire amount.
He said he has made Pepper’s Ferry Executive Director Clarke Wallcraft aware of the situation.
“(Wallcraft) said he is willing to work with us in any way he can,” Hawley told council.
Mayor Jeff Worrell, who represents the town on Pepper’s Ferry’s board of directors, said he would address the situation at today’s meeting of the Pepper’s Ferry board.
As a result of increased rain flows into Pepper’s Ferry increased enough to allow the authority to not only finish its last fiscal year in the black, but also build up a reserve.
During several recent meetings of Pepper’s Ferry’s board, Wallcraft has suggested issuing some kind of rebate to member jurisdictions now that the plant is experiencing excessive flows. The board wanted to hold off on any action to that effect until it was certain flows would not drop off again.
Worrell said he would raise the issue of rebates at Thursday’s meeting.
Hawley also noted Tuesday that sewer rates for the coming fiscal year will be higher than in the past because each year’s rates are determined based on average flows for the past five years. Rates had been based on flows during drought years. Now higher flows will raise the average and, thus, the rates.

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Town’s sewer fund just about down the drain

It hasn’t been long since drought was threatening to dry up Pepper’s Ferry Regional Wastewater Treatment Authority’s revenue stream.
Now, the Town of Pulaski is watching its sewer fund almost literally wash down the drain.
“It’s no surprise to anyone that we’ve had some very high flows (into the wastewater treatment plant) lately,” Pulaski Town Manager John Hawley told members of town council Tuesday night. He said recent melting snow and rain has caused the town’s normal flow of 40 to 45 million gallons per month to increase to 84 and 96 million gallons per month over the past two months.
Essentially, that is the equivalent of being billed for two additional months this fiscal year, so the town is paying for 14 months of service with funds allocated to cover 12 months worth of service. And the fiscal year doesn’t end until June 30.
As a result, Hawley said Pulaski is facing a potential shortfall of $195,578 in its sewer fund for this fiscal year. “That’s if the last four months are average (flows); and that’s a slim chance,” he added.
Hawley said the amount of the shortfall could be transferred to the sewer fund from the general fund, but that would then leave the general fund with a $92,000 shortfall.
The fact two town police officers are on active duty in Iraq and the town isn’t paying their salaries will help to relieve the budget shortfall, Hawley said. However, that will not cover the entire amount.
He said he has made Pepper’s Ferry Executive Director Clarke Wallcraft aware of the situation.
“(Wallcraft) said he is willing to work with us in any way he can,” Hawley told council.
Mayor Jeff Worrell, who represents the town on Pepper’s Ferry’s board of directors, said he would address the situation at today’s meeting of the Pepper’s Ferry board.
As a result of increased rain flows into Pepper’s Ferry increased enough to allow the authority to not only finish its last fiscal year in the black, but also build up a reserve.
During several recent meetings of Pepper’s Ferry’s board, Wallcraft has suggested issuing some kind of rebate to member jurisdictions now that the plant is experiencing excessive flows. The board wanted to hold off on any action to that effect until it was certain flows would not drop off again.
Worrell said he would raise the issue of rebates at Thursday’s meeting.
Hawley also noted Tuesday that sewer rates for the coming fiscal year will be higher than in the past because each year’s rates are determined based on average flows for the past five years. Rates had been based on flows during drought years. Now higher flows will raise the average and, thus, the rates.

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