BY LEW VAIL
ONALASKA -- A proposal to update the application for funding the expansion of the current system to first-time users was tabled for further study by the Polk County Fresh Water Supply District #2 board during the October meeting.
Vice Chairman J.R. Jones said, "We need to get sewage to those taxpayers who have been paying their taxes for many years without benefit of service."
The board agreed to see how the paperwork progresses and evaluate early in 2016 if they can do the work on the additions and recover funds, if and when the loans are available, and if the co-pay percentages of the loan are satisfactory.
Operations Manager Shannon Goins reported that KSA Engineering is working with Texas Department of Transportation on plans for the FM 356 widening and overlay. It appears there will be about 800 feet of new sewer mains to be relocated due to the highway work, but costs are not known at this time.
Goins also reported he received a request from a developer to bring sewer across Brushy Creek for a high-density residential complex. He said TxDOT will have to determine the method that will be approved to cross the creek and noted there is water and natural gas on one side already.
Board member Royce Newport suggested looking into coming in the back way from the May Drive area. All considerations will be explored. The developer has said he will pay for the infrastructure to bring sewer to his project. This could also open the system to use by other subdivisions on that large section of land.
Business Manager Loveearl Hodge reported the system has 2,257 users. A total of 26 accounts had ownership changes and there were three new connections and three permits issued. There are 136 commercial users, who were billed $12,288 for September. Six accounts were disconnected for non-payment and three made payment and were reconnected. When sewer is shut off, the water to the property is also disconnected.
The board deferred action regarding increasing the TCDRS (retirement plan) percentage paid until next year, as well as the pre and post 65 retirement benefits calendar, since no one is currently in that age bracket.
There were several bids for property off the delinquent tax roll and all met the districts percentage and were approved.
Onalaska developer Pete Garland appeared during open forum and offered to buy the remaining small piece of land by the lift station located by the old Wild Bill's Marina on FM 3186. He said by buying the property, he could keep the area mowed and beautify it as part of the new complex. He offered to pay $1,500 for the piece of the lot and the board approved the sale.
The board has held workshops developing the budget for 2016 and gave it final approval during the meeting. A copy is available at the district's office during business hours. The budget includes $285,000 for operations and $197,334 for administrative costs.
The next meeting will be Nov. 19 at 3:15 p.m. There will not be a December meeting.