Lewisburg water project upgrade taking shape

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Highlighted at the Tuesday night Lewisburg City Council meeting were preparations for a $38,000,000 water project upgrade to the city’s existing water infrastructure.

Construction on the project will begin later this year, said Greg Belcher with Chapman Technical Group, and will include relocating the intake site on the river, water quality treatment improvements, and numerous upgrades to the transmission and distribution systems.

The ordinance for setting the water service rate, if approved on second reading next month, will go up in two phases. Currently, the average Lewisburg residential water customer pays for 4,000 gallons a month at $8.71 per 1,000 gallons. In the first phase of the tariff, beginning effective Aug. 15, 2019, that rate will rise to $11.89 for customers with metered water supply, with a final increase in the second phase to $15.07 per each 1,000 gallons up to 20,000 gallons.

The time line for the second phase is not determined, due to the timing for substantial completion of the waterworks system.

According to John Stump, bond attorney for the City, the interest rate at 3.25 percent for the 40-year loan by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, yields a better financing picture than can be gotten from the public market.

Region IV Planning and Development Council will provide the project coordination and technical services, said executive director John Tuggle, who, as coordinator, will act on behalf of the City to ensure that all project team members are working jointly and independently to achieve the project goals. The compensation rate, set by the USDA Rural Utility Service, is not to exceed $80,000. The agreement, approved by council, will replace a previous agreement dating from 2014.

In other business:

  • Council member Joseph Lutz announced the promotions for three members of the Lewisburg Police Department as recommended by Police Chief Chris Teubert to the Public Safety Committee to fill in and complete the required positions within the department. Patrolman Jonathan Hughes, after completing an exam, was promoted to Sergeant, and Robbie Crone and Jeffrey (Todd) Williams were promoted to the position of Corporal. Council accepted the recommendations to a standing applause by families and friends of the patrolmen at the council meeting.
  • The council approved donating $4,000 to the Greenbrier East High School Project Graduation for their food budget for the event. The school had asked for a $1,000 donation. The funds came from the City’s Video Lottery account, which is used annually to assist nonprofit community activities.
  • Friday, Apr. 26 will be the annual Children’s Memorial Flag Day to remember those whose lives were lost due to violence and abuse.
  • This year’s Shepard’s Center Volunteers of the Year goes to Brenda and Linda Spencer. The award honors those in our community who continue to give back to their community year after year. These two women have, combined, taught elementary school for 67 years. They have worked side by side volunteering delivering meals for the Gwen’s Meal Ministry. They also volunteer with the Bluebell Garden Club, Carnegie Guild, the Lewisburg in Bloom Committee, Chapter F-P.E.O., and the Lewisburg United Methodist Church.