Mayor Joe Lee, who also serves as chairman of the GUS Board, said during Monday’s meeting that the balance of $80,997.95 is what remains after the board paid all its bills for December. He added that the board has already deposited an additional $77,990, which will be visible on the January financial statement.
“We’re beginning to catch back up from where we started when we first bought (the system),” Lee said. “I have to commend (city project manager) Dave Treadwell for the job he’s doing. He’s really staying on top of things.”
Board member Joe Kelly echoed those sentiments, for the record.
“We’re much better off than we were before,” Kelly said.
The GUS experienced a trying 2010: After raising sewer rates in December 2009, the board, along with the City Council, terminated its operating agreement with Birmingham-based Alabama Utility Services after the company failed for several months to make any payment on the system’s bond issues.
Currently, Southwest Water is operating the system, with Treadwell in charge of the receivables at City Hall. Treadwell said in August that the board intends to build up its reserve fund, “and eventually give consideration to rolling back rates.”
Lee said Monday that the city will have to extend the term of its $3 million “bridge loan” to the GUS board, as negotiations on a new bond issue for the system are taking more time than originally thought. The loan had been scheduled to be paid back by February.
“There have been some complications in getting the money borrowed,” Lee said. “I’m not sure for how long. We’ll need to check with (attorney) Bill Weathington.”
In other business, the board approved $5,000 for gravel and other needs at the Margaret plant.
Contact Will Heath at email@example.com.