The Buckeye Water District Board of Trustees (BOT) last met in regular session on June 21. Since then there has been a Special BOT meeting, along with an Engineering Committee meeting and a Finance Committee meeting. There was no newspaper coverage at the Engineering meeting and we got abbreviated reports on the other two meetings.
At the last regular meeting the BOT approved a resolution adopting a rule that no BWD customer can resell purchased water without approval of the water district. Buckeye sells bulk water at a rate of $15 per 1,000 gallons. With this resolution someone filling a tanker for someone’s swimming pool cannot resell that water at a higher price without an ok. District Manager Al DeAngelis commented that the new rule is just getting the district’s ducks in order with an established policy. It was not aimed at a particular customer or based on a particular instance.
Speaking of bulk water sales it was reported in the Committee reports that Chesapeake has terminated their contract with the district. Chesapeake asked that BWD lower its cost from $15 per 1,000 gallons to $5. The Rate Study Committee voted not to lower Chesapeake’s cost stating it would be unfair to other bulk water customers. Since then Chesapeake has pulled out their equipment at the Water Treatment Plant. Chesapeake was buying water to be used in fracking.
The Records Retention Committee reported they have 125 boxes of old records that will be shredded on site at the BWD offices on Clark. The cost is $8 per box. The company went through all the necessary requirements getting approval from the State departments and the Ohio Historical Society to get rid of the old records. Some of the records date back to the beginning of the district and are decades old. The records are being shredded to protect customer’s personal information.
In the Operation’s Report it was noted that a leak was discovered in an 8” line somewhere near Route 267. The leak was causing the loss of an estimated 400,000 gallons per day into a creek. BWD employees were pulling their hair on finding this one. Normally excessive ground water indicates where a break is located. This one was tunneling under a rock directly into the stream.
In his report District Manager DeAngelis reported that the EPA is requiring an environmental study be done on possible overflow sludge discharging into a creek near the Water Treatment Plant. It was noted that there has never been a problem of that nature and that particular stream is bone dry most of the time. The cost of the study is estimated at $2,700. The study is required to keep the EPA permit.
At the Engineering Committee meeting held June 28 it was decided to consult with the district’s engineers on the possibility of BWD supplying water to a mobile home park on Duke Road in the Calcutta area. Owners Kevin & Gene Householder approached the district asking that the park be considered. They are being subjected to new EPA requirements that will be very costly. Water from two wells is being used currently. The park has 32 spaces with 22 of them being used by 44 residents.
It was decided that installation of an 8” line into the park would be necessary. The Householders advised that an estimated 2,700 to 4,000 gallons per day is used by the park’s residents. Once the engineers determine what will be required the project will probably be done by BWD employees. BWD has lines in the area. They furnish water to the condos in the Turkana Farms development.
Another project that will be done by BWD employees is correcting a problem the Village of Salineville left them when the district assumed supplying water to Salineville customers. Assistant Manager Marcus Dalrymple said customers on N. Lincoln Ext. & Summit Dr. are being furnished water out of a 2” steel pipe water line. With accumulated corrosion over the years it is estimated that the inside diameter of the pipe is now closer to 1”. Consequently customers up the hill are without water many times in the course of the day. If the neighbor down the hill is using their shower some customers have to wait to get water.
The Committee recommended that the problem be corrected. Dalrymple estimated that project would cost a little over $12,000. The old steel pipe will be replaced with plastic. At a Finance Committee meeting July 2 it was determined funds were available and voted to proceed. Dalrymple advised work on the project would begin this week.
The City of East Liverpool continues dragging their feet settling their law suit against the company. The district’s latest offer to settle was bumped up to $5.9 million. We were told the offer was accepted with the stipulation that the USDA would agree not to hold East Liverpool liable for their money that the courts allowed them to garnish. The court ruled the money was fair game for the city to garnish and the USDA contended the $3 million plus that was garnished is USDA money. It is not BWD funds. That stipulation prompted one BWD BOT member to comment that the only ones winning is the East Liverpool attorneys representing the city in this case. Holding out for more money means a bigger fee for the lawyers. East Liverpool’s position is backed by the court ruling.
BWD recently agreed to a deal with the CC Commissioners that the county will put $1.5 in escrow to help settle the lawsuit. The district will repay the commissioners back over a five year period at a rate of 1% interest if that money is used. That deal was brokered by Commissioner Mike Halleck.
Another deal brokered by Halleck was to piggy back BWD on the oil & gas lease recently signed with DPS Penn. The district has 210 acres that was included in that agreement. They also got $5,850 per acre along with 20% royalties and a three year agreement. That money was to be applied to the latest settlement offer. Guess East Liverpool can’t figure out what to do with $5,900,000.
The next scheduled meeting for the BOT is July 19 at 9 AM at Wellsville Village Hall.