We have wonderful neighbors in Scott Gay and his lovely wife Julie and we share our dog Dino who loves both our families. More importantly The Town of White Springs has received significant benefit by Scott and Julie’s residential restorations, as well as business ventures now and which will be forthcoming including a Bakery in the old Fire Station by Ms. Julie and the opening of a motel if the Town could ever find the money to provide a lift Station for Sewer, and Water Piping as well. Just recently because Mr. Gay found a statute which applied to his situation, his taxes will be reduced from the millage rate we all pay because he is not provided sewer and water like the rest of us in White Springs. But that is a far cry from his opportunity to operate a motel which is available should utilities ever be provided. Scott and Julie also assisted us with the recent Suwannee Bike Association as well as assisting others to be rid of their junk on clean up day. Scott is also on the Economic Development Committee and Ms. Julie sought out Anita Rivers, since she is a retired teacher, to assist in the summer youth program through a Charity started by Mayor Miller to assist the children of White Springs.
Although Mr. Gay spent extensive time and money on his motel, he is continually losing money because the Town has never seen fit to provide the lift station in the area of his motel nor is there Water availability. We speak of Economic Development and the hiring of employees in White Springs, but we cannot assist an already established business and are looking for developers and investors for the Barnett Tract. Now there is no money to be had because of no liquidity and a crippling ability to run the town due to lack of policy or commitment, which even a fair manager would understand and bring forth to the Council, but not our Stacy Tebo. And when the Suwannee River Motel under the previous owner wished sewer and water, the Town fathers decided that the then owner would have to pay a connection for each motel unit, which is absurd..
As we stated previously Mr. Gay elected to not complete an application for a grant for a lift station nor would any of us, due to the fact that the Government would require too much personal information and grants are never guaranteed.
We have never kept a Sewer and Water Enterprise fund reserve which could increase our sewer and water customers because amounts are taken by the General Fund immediately or if Pam makes an error and doesn’t pay someone for work done and spends money like that of FEMA for other things, of course another $55,000 gets taken away to cover misspending. There have never been checks and balances and because of the $44,000 taken from the Enterprise Account into the General Fund during the current year, which caused our Enterprise account an operating loss of $224,000. Plus our Water and Sewer Billings have been depressed to $262,000 which means a rate hike is suggested for both sewer and water.
My question is how can the Town not make certain one of the Town’s largest investors in resources and people be provided water and the necessary Sewer Lift Station which is required in order to have Town Sewer. The Lift Station, in itself will cost somewhere between $150,000 to $400,000 dependent upon factors influencing the cost such as the design of the lift station capacity, and the installed pump power. There will also be the cost of excavation, any restricted access, rock excavation or in Florida multiple vines, and extensive dewatering requirements such as cofferdams. Oh and also special pilings and foundations, dual power supply and on-site switch stations and emergency power generator, plus high pumping heads, Mechanical Electrical and control equipment which the latter typically accounts for 15 to 30% of the total construction costs. . An important consideration is that two identical lift stations will cost 25 to 30 percent more than a single station of the same combined capacity. It appears our Town provides single lift stations but whether each is of a larger capacity, I do not know. This Town is known for not providing the top of the line equipment. Usually, complex lift stations cost two to three times more than more simple lift stations with no construction complications. Typically, if the capacity of a lift station is increased 100 percent, the construction cost would increase only 50 to 55 percent
So when Mayor Miller brought up the fact that our CPA Ken Daniels suggested the Town not take money from the Sewer and Water (Enterprise) Fund and move it to the General Fund, McKenzie said he was not prepared to make such a decision at this time and the matter was tabled.
Yet, McKenzie went up to Scott Gay and asked whether Scott could offer a room to a performer who could not pay for his stay, and Scott could not assist him because Scott was booked, we suggested possibly his calling Carol Stob to see whether Sharon and Jamie our neighbors across the way were willing to offer their home as they have in the past when the Bed & Breakfast was overbooked.
To be honest, Joe and I offered room and board to Walter’s performer. Walter has never been in our home but immediately replied “That won’t work”. Gee that is totally amazing and obviously he feels he is better than Joe and I even though he really knows nothing about us. Each to their own.
Karin for the blog.