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Kingwood Sewer Board looks to increase revenues

KINGWOOD — A discussion about raising revenue ended with no action taken at the Monday evening Kingwood Sewer Board meeting.

“We’ll either have to cut operation costs or raise our fees,” Vice Chairman Randy Plum said.

Chairman Jean Guillot noted the costs of maintenance and supplies continue to rise.

“With the restaurants not opening, water and sewage (revenue) is both down,” he said.

Plum agreed.

“No one likes to defer cost of living but unless we improve our revenue or cut expenses — we have 25 customers on our water system that’s not receiving service,” he said.

Amy DeBerry, water clerk, said the current amount in overdue bills for 90 to 120 days is $20,000. The total for customers with bills over 60 days overdue is $941.62 and those with bills overdue 30 days is $2,255.40.

DeBerry said some customers are on a payment plan. She said the board has less that a 50% chance to collect on some of the bills.
“People moved and we couldn’t shut off service due to COVID,” she said. “We do turn the bills into a collecting agency.”

No further action was taken.

Guillot said he would like to thank Plum for reading over the sewer ordinances.

“Thanks to his work we will have codified sewer ordinances,” he said. “We’ll get a book and they (ordinances) will be available online.”

Plum said while reviewing the ordinances he discovered an ordinance that disallows putting any non- sanitary item in the sewer.

Guillot said DeBerry should check and see if people could be fined for violating the ordinance.

Pine Ridge “throws gloves and diapers in there,” he said. “We’ve asked them to stop. If we fine them maybe it will cover the cost of our people going and cleaning out the sewer trap.”

Board members received a bid from Thrasher Engineering for the removal of 12 grinder pumps. The pumps are located around Preston Memorial Hospital.

The total to remove the pumps is $31,000 per unit and $372,000 to put in a sewer line for the project.

“Ask if the cost reflects us doing the work,” Plum said. “Find out the engineering cost and the material costs. If we do the work all we’ll have is engineering costs.”

No further action was taken.

In other business, the board:

  • discussed taking sealed bids for a 2002 Chevrolet truck that is out of service.
  • voted to get prices on a vehicle to replace the truck.
  • unanimously voted to give sewer workers a $450 uniform expense for jeans, boots and green shirts with the Kingwood Sanitary Sewer logo on them.