Bath Council discusses water issues and hears update on Streetscape
Mayor Susan Webster reported to council that the Town of Bath water system is losing 56% of its water to leaks. She explained that the leaks were occurring outside town beyond the area covered by the recent water line replacement project.
The water line replacement project in the downtown area caused water pressure to increase throughout the system. Old galvanized and polyurethane pipes outside of town are failing at a high rate.
To address the problem, council is looking at a new water line replacement project that would replace 22,000 linear feet of pipe, mostly outside of town.
The town has requested a cost estimate for this project from Thrasher Engineering of Charleston. Thrasher designed and managed the water line replacement project completed in town this summer.
In addition, Councilman and Finance Committee Chairman David Crosby is drafting a water rate increase ordinance. The rate increase is needed to generate revenue to fund debt service on the loan for the next project and to help maintain the water plant.
I think we need more revenue coming into the department just to keep our head above water, Crosby said.
For more information on water issues, see article Bath Water Works losing 56% of water to leaks elsewhere in this edition.
Streetscape Committee member Larry Lower reminded council that a public workshop is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 15 at the Country Inn.
Lower also told council that stakeholder interviews will be conducted by committee members and design consultant Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson on Thursday, January 24 at the First United Methodist Church on Green Street.
Letters of invitation were sent out to government, business, and various community organization stakeholders. Interviews with government stakeholders are scheduled for 9 a.m. – 11 a.m., with business stakeholders from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. and with community organizations from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.
The public is welcome to attend any or all sessions. Lower said a second public workshop will be scheduled in February.
Building permit approved
Council approved a building permit for a large sign near the corner of Union and Washington streets. The sign is being erected by Helsley-Johnson Funeral Home on their property.
The sign will stand nearly 14 feet high and advertise the funeral home and cremation service. The council failed to approve the permit at the last meeting, but have since found no grounds to refuse the permit.
The town really needs to write some standards for signs in town, Councilman Scott Merki said.
If we are going to be a historic district, we need to have standards, agreed Councilwoman Nancy Harvey.
Other town business
Town Clerk Margie Allgyer warned council that all departments need to start thinking about the budget process. Budgets are due on March 15.
Crosby said the town is looking at the possibility of moving town employees off an hourly wage to a salary. He said it would make the budget process simpler.
Harvey said the draft of the new town code book is being reviewed by town attorneys. They are reviewing the document before it is sent back to Municipal Code Corporation in Florida for finalization.
Harvey told council that Dwight Shook donated ten volumes entitled Messages and Papers of the Presidents to the town. The volumes cover United States Presidents from George Washington to William McKinley, up through 1900.
Harvey said she would give the books to Larry Springer to catalog and place in the Morgan County Public Library.