Authority Chairman Dave Lamb said in the fall, he had spoken with Spalding County Board of Commissioners Chairman Eddie Goss about maintaining continuity of administration in regard to certain projects like the Springs plant and the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) the county will use to replace the Highland Mill Village wastewater plant.
Lamb had hoped to hire Wilson as a consultant for the authority. However, on Monday Wilson withdrew his offer. He said that if he took the job, it would bring the authority unwanted publicity and interfere with its work.
The authority decided to take up the issue of hiring a consultant later.
During an early part of the meeting, Brian Upson of Paragon Engineering updated the authority on the state of the wastewater treatment plant purchased from Springs Industries. Some work on the electrical system has been completed, so the authority is now the sole payer of the bills. The treatment process will be transferred to another basin, which will mean reduced power demands. Some work has been done on the wiring as well.
Upson said the plant needs some additional equipment in order to test water on-site instead of continuing Springs’ practice of sending it elsewhere. The equipment would initially be expensive — $3,097 — but it would eventually pay for itself, since testing it off-site costs $70 per week. Authority members voted to make the purchase.
Authority members also discussed the CDBG. The Highland Mill Village wastewater plant is 36 years old, close to the end of its operating life, and there is little room to expand its capacity. It would not be able to handle additional development in the area.
A lift station to take the area’s wastewater to the Springs plant, which the CDBG is intended to pay for, would solve that problem.
Finally, the authority voted to connect some pipes where U.S. Highway 19 crosses Manley Creek. The total cost would be $46,000 to $48,000 for the labor and $25,000 for the materials.
Authority member James Brooks criticized the move. He said the authority would be paying to fix someone else’s mistakes. The measure passed 3-1, with Brooks being the sole dissenter.