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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • Pangburn looks at water rate increase

  • The current water treatment plant for Pangburn was built in 1981 and is 10 years passed the time it should have been renovated.
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  • Members of the Pangburn Water and Sewer Department came before the Pangburn City Council during their regular meeting August 14 to discuss plans for a new water treatment center. The current water treatment plant for Pangburn was built in 1981 and is 10 years passed the time it should have been renovated. In 2006, it was determined by the Arkansas Department of Health that the treatment plant was not up to standards. Since then, the water department has been meeting with state agencies to come up with a feasible plan to update the system. The estimated cost of the project is $3.54 million. The United States Department of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service will fund 100 percent of the project with a combination of loans and grants. The Pangburn Water Department has a commitment from USDA RUS for a grant of $737,000 for the project and the rest would be through loans. The current water rate structure is $12 minimum charge for first 1000 gallons; $3.90 per 1,000 for next 4,000 gallons; and $2.50 per 1000 over 5,000 gallons for inside the city and $16 minimum charge for first 1000 gallons; $3.90 per 1,000 for next 4,000 gallons; and $2.50 per 1000 over 5,000 gallons for outside of the city. The proposed water rate structure is $14 minimum charge for the first 1000 gallons and $4.44 per 1000 gallons after (a $0.54 per 1000 increase) for inside the city and $19 minimum charge for the first 1000 gallons and $4.44 per 1000 gallons after (a $0.54 per 1000 increase) for outside of the city. The project would include replacing pumps and screen for higher capacity at raw intake structure, rehabilitate existing clarifier, add new clarifier for additional detention time, additional chemical feed points to accommodate changing river conditions, construct new package sand filters, construct a 140,000 gallon clear well for proper chlorine detention times, and replace Mt. Zion water tank with a 150,000 gallon tank for increase distribution storage. There are also two other options, buy water from Searcy Water and abandon the existing water facilities or by water from Heber Springs and abandon the existing facilities. Right now, it costs Pangburn Water and Sewer $4.44 to produce 1000 gallons. If water was purchased from Searcy Water, it would cost around $3,150,000 to build transmission line and facilities to treat the water. It would also cost $243,201 to operate and maintain a distribution system. And Pangburn would have to purchase an estimated 71,375,000 million gallons at $5.26 per 1000 gallons to sell to customers. If water was purchased from Heber Springs, it would cost around $2,750,000 to build transmission line and facilities to treat the water. It would also cost $243,201 to operate and maintain a distribution system. And Pangburn would have to purchase an estimated 71,375,000 million gallons at $5.49 per 1000 gallons to sell to customers. According to the Pangburn Water and Sewer Department, it would be cheaper in the long run to update the current facility. An ordinance fixing rates for certain services rendered by the water system for the city of Pangburn setting a rate for bills was read. A motion was made to accept the ordinance and passed unanimously. According to the ordinance the increase in the water bill will take effect the first monthly billing period subsequent to the publication of the ordinance. Members of Pangburn Water said the finalized plans for the new facility is a week away from being completed. The project should be ready for groundbreaking in roughly five months and should take at least 18 months to complete. A public hearing on the new water treatment plant plans is set to take place during the next Pangburn City Council meeting on September 11. This will allow the citizens to hear project details first hand and have an open forum for questions. In other business, Council members have allotted five minutes per political candidate for candidates who would like a chance to discuss their platform during the next city council meeting. During their meeting, Pangburn City Council members honored Audie and Wanda Sue Treadmill and Pat Rose. The three will have their names added to the Pangburn Honor Roll, a plaque that hangs in the Pangburn City Hall.
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